Under Fire: Billionaires ask for change at Family Dollar

In June, Carl Icahn revealed he has a 9.4% stake in Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores Inc. — and a beef with it that fellow billionaire investors Nelson Peltz and John Paulson share: They think rival Dollar General Corp. is better managed. Family Dollar’s board responded with a poison pill to deter a hostile takeover. It’s triggered when an investor owns 10%. “All it does it make it more difficult to have a friendly dialogue,” the corporate raider told Reuters, “which we already are planning to have.” Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell sees three likely resolutions: Family Dollar merges with the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer; a private-equity firm buys it; or Icahn talks CEO Howard Levine — son of the founder — into resigning. Then there’s the possibility Icahn will wait to see if the company’s cost-cutting measures work. Levine announced 370 stores will close after same-store sales decreased 3.8% in the quarter ended March 1.