The United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a bulletin seeking public comment on an application for approval by Sycamore Partners II regarding the sale of 330 Dollar Express stores formerly owned by Family Dollar to Dollar General Corp.
Sycamore acquired the 330 stores as part of a 2015 FTC settlement developed to resolve concerns that Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar Stores would be anticompetitive. The FTC required Dollar Tree to divest 330 Family Dollar stores to Sycamore. The commission also required Sycamore to obtain its approval if the company decided to sell all or almost all of the stores within three years of their acquisition.
Sycamore maintained in its application that Dollar Express LLC, the company it formed to operate the divested stores, “can no longer operate as a viable standalone business,” because of changes in competitive conditions since the purchase. Sycamore asked the FTC to shorten the 30-day public comment period and allow Dollar Express to fulfill the majority of its commitments, including those to approximately 3,000 employees. Sycamore’s application stated that an expedited review would reduce uncertainty for employees and customers, and help Dollar General to preserve the locations as dollar store outlets.
The FTC indicated that it would decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of a 15-day public comment period.