Dreiling sets the record straight on Family Dollar talks details

Dollar General Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling has cleared up some of the confusion and conflicting reports about Dollar General's dalliances with Family Dollar before the Goodlettsville-based retailer's $9.7 billion buyout bid this week. In recent regulatory filings, Family Dollar executives had said Dollar General gave them a stiff arm this past spring. But, says Dreiling, that depiction doesn't tell the whole story because a) they had no sense that Family Dollar was truly on the auction block and b) Dollar General's board wanted to negotiate with their Family Dollar peers without activist investor Carl Icahn in the picture.

At no time during this meeting did Mr. Levine indicate that there was a process, that there was any urgency to act or that there were discussions with another potential buyer. In fact, Mr. Levine’s response to specific questions posed by our representatives gave us quite the opposite impression. Had we left the meeting with the belief that a sale of Family Dollar was imminent, we assure you that our course of action would have been different.

Click here for the full letter, which also takes a jab at Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine and concerns about potential antitrust issues with a Dollar General-Family Dollar marriage. In a response this morning, Family Dollar's board counters Dreiling's account, which Levine says contains "blatant mischaracterizations." The gloves are coming off...