Dreiling: Dollar General still committed to Family Dollar deal

Consensus emerging around need for 'hell-or-high-water' provision

As expected given his strong language earlier this week, Dollar General Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling hasn't been dissuaded in his effort to buy Family Dollar by that company's rejection of his $9.7 billion offer.

Dreiling on Thursday afternoon said he was disappointed in the Family Dollar decision, which he said the board had made "without informing itself of all relevant information." Family Dollar officials said their denial was based on its assessment of higher risks that the deal would run into antitrust trouble, but Dreiling is sticking to his stance that such concerns are unfounded.

“We have done extensive antitrust analysis using experienced advisers, the results of which confirm that the transaction as proposed is capable of being completed,” Dreiling said. “We remain willing to share this analysis with Family Dollar and its counsel and are confident that we will be able to quickly and efficiently resolve any potential antitrust issues.”

Others aren't so sure. Several investors have told MoneyBeat's Maureen Farrell that Dreiling and his team need to step up their commitment to their Family Dollar bid with a "hell-or-high-water" provision that would commit the company to completing its acquisition regardless of regulatory requirements. At the end of his statement this afternoon, Dreiling appeared to ever so slightly crack the door to such an amendment.

“We are carefully reviewing and considering our options,” Dreiling said. “Our existing all-cash proposal coupled with manageable antitrust issues continues to make our proposal superior to the current transaction he with Dollar Tree.”

Dollar General shares (Ticker: DG) were down slightly Thursday afternoon to $63.62. Year to date, they've risen 5 percent. Family Dollar stock also was off a bit on the day while Dollar Tree was down 1.5 percent.