June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Family Dollar Stores Inc. surged in early trading after billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed last week that he’d amassed a new 9.4 percent stake in the discount retailer and planned to seek talks with management.
The shares rose as much as 13 percent to $68.20 at 7:08 a.m. in New York. The stock had slid 6.8 percent this year through the close on June 6, before Icahn revealed his plans.
Family Dollar has been the subject of takeover speculation since another activist investor, Nelson Peltz, made an unsolicited bid in 2011 in an unsuccessful attempt to attract other suitors. While Chief Executive Officer Howard Levine has been reluctant to sell the company his father founded, Family Dollar said earlier this year that it would conduct a business review to seek ways to improve its finances.
Icahn and his affiliates bought 10.7 million shares and options for about $265.8 million, according to a June 6 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He may push for operating changes and ask the company to explore strategic alternatives, as well as potentially seeking board seats, according to the filing.