New York (AFP) - Discount retail chain Dollar General extended its nearly $10 billion hostile bid for rival Family Dollar Friday in hopes that Family Dollar's shareholders will vote down its planned merger with another firm.
Dollar General said the $80-a-share offer it made at the beginning of September will remain alive to the end of the year, enough to span Family Dollar's December 11 special shareholders meeting, called to vote on selling the company to smaller rival Dollar Tree.
Either combination would establish the winner with a powerful chain of discount general goods and grocery stores pitched at middle- and lower-income consumers around the United States.
A Dollar General-Family Dollar Union would amalgamate with 20,000 stores representing $28 billion in combined sales, according to 2013 figures.
Family Dollar has twice brushed off friendly Dollar General proposals in favor of Dollar Tree's $74.50-a-share bid, arguing in part that a merger with Dollar General could be blocked by US antitrust regulators.
Family Dollar then pitched its all-cash offer directly to shareholders in September, arguing that it is superior to Dollar Tree's price.
Family Dollar also promised to divest some stores in order to gain antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission.
Including debt taken on, the Family Dollar bid is valued at around $10 billion.
"Dollar General urges Family Dollar shareholders... to vote against the merger agreement with Dollar Tree... and to tender their shares into Dollar General’s tender offer," it said Friday.
"Dollar General remains committed to the proposed acquisition of Family Dollar and will continue to cooperate with the Federal Trade Commission to obtain antitrust regulatory clearance for the transaction," it added.