Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management has disclosed a 6.6% stake in Family Dollar Stores Inc (NYSE:FDO). The Purpose of Transaction item on the 13D discloses fairly standard boilerplate, although a buyback seems to be in the plans:
The Filing Persons acquired the Shares and Options (collectively, “Issuer Securities”) because they believe that the Shares are currently undervalued in the market place and represent an attractive investment opportunity. The Trian Group has met with Howard R. Levine, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Issuer and members of senior management of the Issuer to discuss the Issuer’s business and strategies to enhance value for the Issuer’s shareholders. During these discussions, the Trian Group communicated its view that there is an opportunity to enhance shareholder value by improving the Issuer’s operational performance. The Filing Persons look forward to working with the Issuer on operating initiatives such as increasing sales per square foot to peer levels, improving the Issuer’s operating leverage and optimizing the number of new store openings. The Trian Group also discussed how the Issuer could utilize its capital structure and significant free-cash flow, including by considering the use of prudent amounts of leverage to increase the size of the Issuer’s stock repurchase program. In addition, the Trian Group provided examples of previous investments they (and/or entities affiliated with them) made in which they had helped create significant value by working together with management teams and boards of directors to improve operations and cash flows and enhance shareholder value.
Says the NYTimes.com in an article:
Family Dollar has been one of the retailers to benefit from the recession as more consumers come into its stores hunting for bargains. Family Dollar has seized on the opportunity, expanding its food offerings, lengthening store hours and accepting food stamps in all its stores. Peltz’s investment arm, Trian Fund Management LP, owns large stakes in a variety of major American businesses including upscale jeweler Tiffany’s & Co., food company H.J. Heinz Co. and fast-food chain Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc., of which Peltz serves as chairman.
FDO has been an extraordinary stock since the late 70s. It’s up around 24,000% excluding regular dividends. The last 5 years have not been as kind to the stock price, but it hasn’t been a disaster for shareholders either – the stock’s up 55% and the company has paid an increasing, regular quarterly dividend. It’s a situation worth watching.