Discount retail chain Dollar General took its campaign for rival Family Dollar directly to investors Wednesday after being rejected twice by Family Dollar's board.
Dollar General stressed to shareholders of Family Dollar that the $80 a share offer it made at the beginning of September was superior to the $74.50 rival proposal by Dollar Tree and assured that it could pass an antitrust review.
“Our offer provides Family Dollar shareholders with significantly greater value than the existing agreement with Dollar Tree, as well as immediate and certain liquidity for their shares," said Dollar General chairman and chief executive Rick Dreiling.
"By taking this step, we are providing all Family Dollar shareholders a voice in this process, and we urge them to tender into our offer."
"Additionally, we now can begin the antitrust review process and will have an opportunity to present our position directly to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). As we previously have stated, we are confident in the results of our antitrust analysis, and we look forward to a constructive dialogue with the FTC," he said in a statement.
In July the Family Dollar board accepted the takeover proposal by Dollar Tree, a smaller discount chain than industry leader Dollar General, a deal valued at $9.2 billion.
Dollar General then came in with an unsolicited $78.50 a share offer, worth $9.7 billion with debt, which Family Dollar's board quickly rejected last month, saying they did not expect the FTC to accept it.
A Dollar General-Family Dollar Union would create a massive chain that had $28 billion in combined sales in 2013 and operates 20,000 stores, mostly serving low-income areas.
The problem is that the deal would leave the company in control of the two leading suppliers of groceries and home goods in many markets.
After the first rejection, Dollar General upped the offer to $80 a share, promising to divest up to 1,500 stores to assuage regulators.
But Family Dollar's board again rebuffed the deal, saying they did not believe it could pass an FTC review.
Dollar General opened its offer to Family Dollar shareholders through October 8, with the possibility of an extension, and stressed it had all the financing necessary in place for the deal.
In a statement Family Dollar's board reiterated its support for the Dollar Tree deal and urged shareholders to refrain from reacting to Dollar General's proposal until the board formally reviews it.
Dollar Tree meanwhile said it was complying with a new request for information from the FTC and expected to complete its takeover of Family Dollar "as early as the end of November 2014."
Shares of Family Dollar were down 0.2 percent to $78.58. Dollar General gained 0.4 percent at $63.68, and Dollar Tree was barely changed at $55.90.