NEW YORK — Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a 9.4 percent stake in Family Dollar and is urging the discount retailer to explore ways to boost its value.
Shares of the Matthews, N.C., company rose nearly 10 percent to $66.40 in after-market trading.
In a regulatory disclosure filed Friday, Icahn said he and his affiliates own nearly 10.7 million shares of Family Dollar. Based on its closing price Friday of $60.53, the stake is worth $647.1 million.
Icahn pointed to some of his prior investments, including CVR Energy, Forest Laboratories, Chesapeake Energy and Biogen Idec, where his tactics have helped turn those businesses around. He plans to discuss strategies with Family Dollar management, as well.
Family Dollar Inc. officials weren’t immediately available to comment late Friday.
The news triggered a rally in shares of rival Dollar General Corp. amid speculation Icahn could seek a merger with Family Dollar. Dollar General shares rose more than 4 percent after-hours.
Family Dollar’s stock is down in the past year while broader markets are booming. Its revenue and net income for the three months ended March 1 both declined, and sales at stores open at least a year slipped 3.8 percent.
The company said in April it would close 370 stores.