Dollar Tree Completes Acquisition Of Family Dollar

Family Dollar, private label, private brand, store brandDollar Tree announced this week that it has completed the acquisition of discount retailer Family Dollar.

“We are pleased to announce we have completed our acquisition of Family Dollar and we formally welcome the Family Dollar team to the Dollar Tree organization,” stated Bob Sasser, Chief Executive Officer. “This is a transformational opportunity for our business to offer broader, more compelling merchandise assortments, with greater values, to a wider array of customers. This acquisition will extend our reach to low-income customers, while strengthening and diversifying our footprint. We plan to leverage best practices across both organizations to deliver significant cost synergies. Combined, our growth potential is enhanced with improved opportunities to increase store productivity and to open more stores across multiple banners.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement first announced and unanimously approved by each company’s Board of Directors in July 2014, Family Dollar shareholders are entitled to receive $59.60 in cash and 0.2484 of a share of Dollar Tree common stock for each share of Family Dollar common stock.

The Company also announced that Gary Philbin, age 58, has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of Family Dollar, effective immediately. In his new role, Mr. Philbin will continue to report to Bob Sasser. Mr. Philbin joined Dollar Tree as Senior Vice President of Stores in December 2001, and was later promoted to Chief Operating Officer in March 2007 and to President in June 2013. Prior to joining Dollar Tree, Mr. Philbin held senior-level positions in both merchandising and operations during his thirty years in the retail grocery industry.

“I am very proud to announce that Gary will be taking on his new leadership role of Family Dollar Stores,” Sasser said. “Gary has played an integral role in the success of Dollar Tree over the past fourteen years. Notably, Gary was instrumental in improving the Dollar Tree customer shopping experience and the related customer satisfaction, as well as leading the integration following our Canadian acquisition in 2010.”

Philbin stated, “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead the Family Dollar team. Throughout the due diligence and integration planning processes, I have been impressed with the experience, talent and dedication of the Family Dollar team members. Our focus as an organization will be on the customer – by consistently providing great values, affordable prices, and relevant items in a store environment that is convenient, clean, reliable and efficient. We are well-prepared for the integration process, which is now under way.”

Additionally, the Company announced that Howard R. Levine, Chief Executive Officer of Family Dollar, has been appointed to Dollar Tree’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Sasser concluded, “We appreciate the efforts, dedication and teamwork displayed by both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar associates throughout our integration planning processes. We are well-prepared to integrate our two companies.”

Strategic Rationale

  • Creates a leading discount retailer in North America. The combined organization will operate more than 13,000 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces, with sales exceeding $19 billion annually 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. The Company intends to retain and to grow both banners 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 enables Dollar Tree to serve a broader range of customers and deliver even greater value to them.
  • Leverages complementary merchandise expertise. Dollar Tree’s merchandise mix 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 offerings enable the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar brands to expand categories and to deliver a broader, more compelling assortment to all customers.
  • Generates significant synergy opportunities. Dollar Tree expects to generate significant efficiencies through sourcing and procurement, format optimization, SG&A leverage, and its distribution network. The Company 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. 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.

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.

 



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.