Monday, May 9, 2011

Peltz sounds off on Family Dollar

Nelson Peltz, the billionaire financier who recently made an unsuccessful bid to buy Matthews-based Family Dollar, answered some questions about his investing strategy and his relationship with the company in an interview with Fortune.

In the interview, published Monday, Peltz claims to have a better relationship with Family Dollar's management than has been portrayed in the media. He also repeats his calls for Family Dollar to open more stores to match competitor Dollar General's explosive growth over the past two years. The full interview is here.

Peltz is a founding partner and CEO of Trian Fund Management, a New York-based fund managing several billion dollars. Over the course of his career in high finance, Peltz has been called a corporate raider and a takeover artist as he's become known for buying under-performing companies and selling them for a profit. In his most celebrated transaction, Peltz bought Snapple for $300 million and sold it three years later to Cadbury-Schweppes for about $1.5 billion.

He first disclosed Trian had a large stake in Family Dollar last summer. Peltz pushed management to open new stores more quickly and to buy back stock. Earlier this year, Peltz said he was the company's largest shareholder, with an 8 percent stake, and made a $7 billion offer to take the company private. Family Dollar summarily rejected Peltz, and adopted a "poison pill" to discourage hostile takeover attempts.