FINANCE

Family Dollar adopts poison pill after Icahn stake revealed

BY Marianne Wilson

Matthews, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores has adopted a one-year shareholder rights plan to prevent investors from gaining sizable control of the company. The move follows the disclosure on Friday that activist investor Carl Icahn has amassed a 9.39% stake in the retailer over the past two months, making him its largest shareholder.

In the filing on Friday, Icahn said he plans to push Family Dollar management to explore strategic changes, and that he might also seek board seats.

All of the company’s directors voted in favor of the adoption of the rights plan, other than Edward Garden who voted against it.

The plan, which has a 10% trigger, is not designed to prevent an offer to acquire the retailer, but to allow its board "adequate time to consider any and all alternatives," the company stated on Monday.

“We are committed to driving value for all Family Dollar shareholders and will continue to take actions to achieve this important objective,” the company said. lcahn told Reuters on Monday that the poison pill is a ‘quintessential example’ of attorneys ‘simply earning fees.’ He added that the poison pill ‘puts a damper’ on prospects for a ‘friendly dialogue’ with Family Dollar executives.

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News

Report: Amazon entering online payment arena

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle — Amazon.com is reportedly entering the online payment arena.

According to Reuters, Amazon.com will offer a service where for a fee, registered customers can use credit card information stored on Amazon.com to pay for services such as utilities or digital subscriptions.

Amazon.com currently serves as an electronic payment middleman for its third-party sellers, who account for about 40% of its sales. This marks the company’s first foray into managing electronic payments for businesses that are not its partners, and places it in direct competition with services such as EBay’s PayPal.

Amazon has not yet formally announced the service, but an executive is quoted by Reuters as saying it is a way to expand how Amazon can help people. The company is also expected to unveil a new smartphone on June 18.

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REAL ESTATE

Dollar General to open stores in three new states

BY Dan Berthiaume

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General plans to expand its nationwide presence into three new states within the next year, increasing the company’s presence to 43 states across the country. The discount retailer will begin construction on stores in Maine and Rhode Island in fall 2014, with plans to expand into Oregon in early 2015.

Expansion into Maine and Rhode Island follows the company’s expansion into neighboring northeastern states in recent years. New stores in Oregon will increase Dollar General’s visibility on the West Coast after opening stores in California in 2012. Stores in Maine and Rhode Island will be served by its new Bethel, Pennsylvania distribution center and Oregon stores plan to be served by its Lebec, California distribution center that opened in April 2012.

“It’s exciting to announce plans to add stores in three new states, which will give Dollar General locations in all northeastern states and a presence in the pacific northwest,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “Announcing this expansion simultaneously with our 75th anniversary in 2014 further demonstrates Dollar General’s enduring legacy of serving others and providing customers quality, convenience and everyday low prices.”

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