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Dollar Tree expects FTC to require it to shed stores to get approval for Family Dollar deal

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CHESAPEAKE, Virginia — Dollar Tree said that the Federal Trade Commission has indicated that it will require divestment of some stores to get its approval for the company's approximately $8.5 billion acquisition of Family Dollar Stores Inc.

Dollar Tree Inc. said that it doesn't believe that it will need to divest more than the up to 500 stores it previously indicated it was willing to shed.

The company said Friday that it doesn't expect any of the store sales to have a material impact on the pending acquisition. The Chesapeake, Virginia, company also said it believes that the acquisition could be completed as early as February 2015.

Rival Dollar General Corp. has offered two larger bids for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Family Dollar, but both bids have been rejected by Family Dollar, which says said it would be hard to get regulators to approve the deal. The larger of those bids was about $9.1 billion.

Dollar General, which is based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, is still pursuing a possible combination and said in a statement on Friday that it is actively engaged in talks with the FTC and has been making good progress on the extent of potential divestitures that would be needed in connection with an acquisition of Family Dollar.

Dollar General said that it will continue to work with the FTC and expects to give an update in sufficient time to allow Family Dollar shareholders to review its information prior to the Family Dollar shareholders' meeting.

A special meeting for Family Dollar shareholders to vote on the acquisition by Dollar Tree is scheduled for Dec. 23. But Dollar Tree said it and Family Dollar have agreed not to close on the deal until Jan. 30, 2015, in part because of the FTC's ongoing review. That could change if the FTC finishes its review and ends the necessary waiting period earlier, Dollar Tree said.

Shares of Dollar Tree added 9 cents to $69.36 in morning trading, while Family Dollar' stock fell 8 cents to $79.60. Shares of Dollar General rose 48 cents to $68.27.

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