It’s the battle of the dollar stores. Dollar General has boosted its bid for smaller rival Family Dollar, offering $80 a share in a deal that would be worth more than $9 billion. Family Dollar rejected an earlier bid from the firm after agreeing to be acquired by Dollar Tree. In addition to the sweetened offer, Dollar General now says it’s willing to divest itself of 1,500 stores to avoid problems with government regulators.
A big bet made two years ago on the future of casino gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has ended in failure. The $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel closed its doors this morning, the most expensive collapse in Atlantic City’s 36-year history as a gambling mecca. By mid-September, four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos will have closed. The consolidation is a reaction to the saturated casino market in the Northeast, which continues to add new gambling halls to markets without enough demand to support them all. Analysts and competitors say Revel was hampered by business decisions including a total smoking ban, the lack of a buffet and daily bus trips to and from the casino, and the lack of a players’ database from which to solicit customers.
The stock market begins September trading with the S&P 500 at an all-time high. The index is the benchmark for many 401(k) mutual funds. A big focus for Wall Street this week will be the August employment report due out Friday. The dollar is up against the euro and the yen. Russia’s currency, the ruble, fell to a record low. Stocks in Moscow are sliding because of tensions over Ukraine.
McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants are expected to be targeted with acts of civil disobedience that could lead to arrests Thursday as labor organizers escalate their campaign to unionize the industry’s workers. Kendall Fells, an organizing director for the group Fast Food Forward, said workers in a couple dozen cities were trained to peacefully engage in civil disobedience ahead of this week’s planned protests in about 150 cities. The “Fight for $15″ campaign is being backed by the Service Employees International Union. The National Restaurant Association said the protests are attempts by labor groups “to boost their dwindling membership.”
Lawyers for Detroit will attempt to convince a federal judge that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved. The trial begins today and comes just over 13 months after Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. Bill Nowling, spokesman for Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, said the city expects to cut $12 billion in unsecured debt to about $5 billion. Most creditors have endorsed the plan, but bond issuer Syncora Guarantee claims Detroit has unfairly discriminated against financial creditors.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow