Dollar Tree, the operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, and Family Dollar Stores, a national discount retailer offering name brands and quality, private brand merchandise, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Dollar Tree will acquire Family Dollar in a cash and stock transaction. The value of the consideration is $74.50 per share, a 22.8% premium over Family Dollar’s closing price as of July 25, 2014.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, is expected to close by early 2015, at which time the Family Dollar shareholders will receive $59.60 in cash and $14.90 equivalent in Dollar Tree shares, subject to the collar described below. At closing, Family Dollar shareholders will own no less than 12.7% and no more than 15.1% of the outstanding common stock of Dollar Tree. Howard R. Levine and Trian Fund Management, L.P. and funds managed by it, which collectively own approximately 16% of the outstanding stock of Family Dollar, have entered into voting agreements in support of the merger.
“This is a transformational opportunity,” stated Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Dollar Tree will become a leading discount retailer in North America, with over 13,000 stores in 48 states and five Canadian Provinces, sales of over $18 billion, and more than 145,000 associates on our team. We will continue to operate under the Dollar Tree, Deals, and Dollar Tree Canada brands, and when this transaction is complete, we will operate under the Family Dollar brand as well. Throughout our history, we have strived continuously to evolve and improve our business. This acquisition, which enhances our footprint and diversifies our company, will enable us to build on that progression, and importantly, positions Dollar Tree for accelerated growth. By offering both fixed-price and multi-price point formats and an even broader, more compelling merchandise assortment, we will be able to provide even greater value and choice to a wider array of customers.
Dollar Tree has a long record of consistent, profitable growth, strong financial performance, prudent capital management, and outstanding total shareholder returns. The acquisition of Family Dollar is consistent with our vision to be the leader in value retailing.”
Sasser added, “This acquisition will extend our reach to lower-income customers and strengthen and diversify our store footprint. We plan to leverage best practices across both organizations to deliver significant synergies, while we accelerate and augment Family Dollar’s recently introduced strategic initiatives. Combined, our growth potential is enhanced with improved opportunities to increase the productivity of the stores and to open more stores across multiple banners.”
“I have long admired the Family Dollar brand and its key position in the minds of the consumer,” said Sasser. “We are excited about the prospects for the combined company and the many opportunities that it will create for our associates, vendors, business partners, and shareholders. Howard Levine, CEO of Family Dollar, will remain with the company and report directly to me. Upon closing, Howard will become a member of the Dollar Tree Board of Directors. We are excited to welcome the Family Dollar team to Dollar Tree, and we look forward to working together to deliver increased value to the consumer and to our shareholders.”
Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO of Family Dollar, commented: “For more than 54 years, Family Dollar has provided value and convenience to customers. Dollar Tree also has a rich history of providing great value to customers, and together, as one company, we can provide more customers with even greater value and convenience. Today’s announcement represents the successful culmination of a comprehensive strategic review process that our Board of Directors, working with its financial and legal advisors, began this past winter. While this assessment of alternatives included consideration of a number of potential partners, we are pleased to conclude this process with the announcement of this compelling transaction with Dollar Tree, which our Board has unanimously determined to be in the best interests of our shareholders. This combination will enable Family Dollar to accelerate efforts to improve the business and will benefit our dedicated Team Members who will now be part of a larger, more diverse organization. I am excited about our future with Dollar Tree, and I look forward to working with the Dollar Tree team to complete the combination as quickly as possible to realize the compelling benefits for all our stakeholders.”
Compelling Strategic Rationale
- Creates a leading discount retailer in North America. The transaction will create a leading discount retailer in North America based on number of store locations, operating more than 13,000 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces, with sales exceeding $18 billion and over 145,000 associates.
- Complementary business model across fixed- and multi-price point. Dollar Tree is the nation’s leading operator of fixed-price point stores, selling everything for $1 or less, and Family Dollar is a leading national operator of multi-price point stores providing value-conscious consumers with a selection of competitively priced merchandise in convenient neighborhood stores. Dollar Tree intends to retain and to grow each of its brands and the Family Dollar brand going forward and will optimize the combined real estate portfolio.
- Targets broader range of customers and geographies. Dollar Tree targets customers within a broad range of Middle America with stores located primarily in suburban areas and Family Dollar targets low- and lower-middle income households through its urban and rural locations. The transaction will enable Dollar Tree to serve a broader range of customers and deliver even greater value to them.
- Leverages complementary merchandise expertise. Dollar Tree’s assortment consists of a balance between consumable merchandise and variety/seasonal merchandise. Family Dollar’s assortment consists primarily of consumable merchandise and home products. The complementary assortments will enable the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar brands to expand category offerings and to deliver a broader, more compelling assortment to all customers.
- Generates significant synergy opportunities. Dollar Tree expects to generate significant efficiencies in sourcing and procurement, SG&A leverage, distribution and logistics efficiency, and through format optimization. Dollar Tree anticipates that the transaction will result in an estimated $300 million of annual run-rate synergies to be fully realized by the end of the third year post-closing.
- Enhanced financial performance and improved growth prospects. The transactionis estimated to be accretive to cash EPS within the first year post-closing, excluding one-time costs to achieve synergies.Dollar Tree will be better positioned to invest in existing and new markets and channels and to grow its store base across multiple brands. The combined company expects to generate significant free cash flow, enabling it to pay down debt rapidly.
Under the terms of the transaction, Family Dollar shareholders will receive $74.50 for each share they own, comprised of $59.60 in cash and $14.90 in Dollar Tree stock. The stock portion will be subject to a collar such that Family Dollar shareholders will receive 0.2484 Dollar Tree shares if the average Dollar Tree trading price during a specified period preceding closing is equal to or greater than $59.98 and 0.3036 Dollar Tree shares if this average trading price is less than or equal to $49.08. If the average trading price of Dollar Tree stock during this period is between $49.08 and $59.98, Family Dollar shareholders will receive a number of shares between 0.2484 and 0.3036 equal to $14.90 in value. The transaction values Family Dollar at an enterprise value of approximately $9.2 billion, and it represents an enterprise value to last twelve months May 31, 2014 EBITDA multiple of 11.3x.
Dollar Tree intends to finance the acquisition through a combination of existing cash on hand, bank debt and bonds. Following the transaction, Dollar Tree expects to continue to have a solid balance sheet supported by strong free cash flow of the combined business. In connection with the transaction, Dollar Tree has received a financing commitment from JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. with the bank debt syndication and bond offering expected to occur prior to closing.
The transaction is subject to Family Dollar stockholder approval, expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to the board of directors of Dollar Tree, and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. committed to provide bridge financing for the transaction. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Williams Mullen acted as legal counsel to Dollar Tree in connection with the transaction. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to the board of directors of Family Dollar in connection with the transaction. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as legal counsel to Family Dollar in connection with the transaction.