Dollar General Bids for Family Dollar
In spring 2015, Dollar General's CEO Rick Dreiling was looking ahead to retiring at year's end but worried about ensuring continued growth for the company he had built since 2008 into a market leader in the U.S. discount retail world. Dollar General operated over 11,500 stores in 40 states at the start of 2015, but had recently been rebuffed in a tender offer for its leading rival, Family Dollar. Though Dollar General had held talks with Family Dollar as early as 2013, Family Dollar shareholders chose to ignore Dollar General's more lucrative tender offer and the urging of several activist investors and sold their firm to the smaller Dollar Tree chain. Dreiling could not help but revisit some of the key decisions he and the rest of the board had made in their pursuit of Family Dollar. From a governance perspective, he was confident that the Dollar General board had fulfilled its duty to shareholders during the bidding process despite Family Dollar's decision to sell to Dollar Tree. From a strategic perspective, he wondered whether Family Dollar had been the right competitor to buy.