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Paulson Pushed for Family Dollar Sale as Passive Investor

Billionaire John Paulson privately suggested on at least two occasions that Family Dollar Stores Inc. sell itself, before his hedge-fund firm told regulators that its investment in the discount retailer was passive.

Paulson advocated for a sale in a meeting in October with Family Dollar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Levine, and then followed up with a January letter requesting that Levine “explore strategic alternatives,” according to a regulatory filing last week by the Matthews, North Carolina-based retailer. The following month, Paulson & Co. declared in a statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its 8.6 percent stake wasn’t held for the purpose of “changing or influencing the control” of the company.