The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by Sycamore Partners II, L.P., for approval to sell to Dollar General Corporation the assets it acquired under a 2015 FTC settlement.
To resolve concerns that Dollar Tree, Inc.’s acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. would be anticompetitive, the Commission required Dollar Tree to divest to Sycamore 330 Family Dollar stores. The Commission also required Sycamore to obtain FTC approval if it decided to sell all or almost all the assets it acquired within three years of the sale.
Sycamore states 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,” due to changes in competitive conditions since the purchase. Sycamore requested a shortening of the 30-day public comment period to allow Dollar Express to fulfill the majority of its commitments, including commitments to approximately 3,000 employees. According to Sycamore’s application, expedited review will reduce uncertainty for employees and customers, and help Dollar General to preserve the locations as dollar store outlets.
According to the application, Dollar General will provide the greatest likelihood that the locations will continue as dollar stores, preserving consumer choice in the areas affected. According to Dollar General’s February 2017 10-K filing, the company operates over 13,000 discount retail stores located in 44 states, with the greatest concentration in the southern, southwestern, midwestern, and eastern United States.
The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of a 15-day public comment period. Public comments may be submitted until April 20, 2017. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments can also be filed electronically. (FTC File No. 141 0207, Docket No. C-4530; the staff contact is Dan Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526)
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