Billionaires Pick Sides in Dollar Store Wars, but Carl Icahn’s Already Won

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You won’t be running into billionaires Carl Icahn or Dan Loeb browsing the aisles at your local dollar store anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean they’re not shopping them. In fact, the conversation on Wall Street hasn’t been about the Benjamins lately – it’s been about the, well, Georges.

Quite the bidding war has ensued between Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) and Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR), both of which have moved to buy Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO). In case you missed it, here’s a breakdown of the timeline:

Investors big and small are paying close attention to how this battle plays out. Wall Street billionaires have their eyes peeled, too – and have placed their bets accordingly.

Looking at the numbers, one thing’s clear: billionaires are rooting for Dollar General on this one.


Billionaires Pick Sides in Dollar Store Wars, but Carl Icahn's Already WonDollar General, an iBillionaire Index fixture, is a billionaire favorite, with shareholders including Chase Coleman, Dan Loeb, Jorge Lemann, Steve Mandel, John Paulson and Richard Chilton. Collectively, the group holds 24.5 million DG shares as of the second quarter of the year – total assets valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Richard Chilton and Ray Dalio have positions in Dollar General, the former with 221,000 assets and the latter 35,000. Combined, their stakes are worth $13.8 million.

And then you’ve got Family Dollar. Carl Icahn was in and out quick on FDO, unloading all of his shares before the close of Q2. John Paulson, however, remains bullish on the company. He upped his stake to 8.02 million shares last quarter, worth over $600 million.

Carl Icahn dollarstorewars

Of course, what billionaire investors want to happen may not be what does happen. Playing out a few different scenarios, here’s a look at who stands to profit most:

If Dollar General acquires Family Dollar … pretty much everyone wins. Chase Coleman would get the biggest boost, as DG comprises 5.74% of his portfolio. With 3.1% and 2.8% DG allocations, respectively, Jorge Lemann and Dan Loeb would make a pretty penny as well.

If Dollar Tree acquires Family Dollar … Richard Chilton comes out ahead, but perhaps not as much as he would with Dollar General. DLTR comprises 0.48% of his Q2 equity portfolio, and DG 2.08%. It’s worth noting that Chilton has already made a nice gain on his Dollar Tree investment, which is currently trading +140% above his average purchase price on the stock.

If anyone acquires Family Dollar … and someone likely will … John Paulson will make a gain.

Regardless of what happens … Carl Icahn has already won. To the tune of over $180 million. In a period of about seven weeks.


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