US retailer Dollar General Corporation has once again extended the deadline for its tender offer to acquire Family Dollar Stores, which has in turn advised shareholders to reject the bid from its rival.

The company has extended its offer of US$80 per share in cash, including associated preferred share purchase rights, to 17:00 New York time on 31 December. The offer was previously set to expire on 31 October.

In a statement, the company advised Family Dollar shareholders to vote against a merger agreement with Dollar Tree. "By voting the Gold proxy card and by tendering their shares into Dollar General's tender offer, Family Dollar shareholders will be sending a clear message to the Family Dollar board to promptly engage in discussions with Dollar General. A vote against the merger agreement with Dollar Tree will not obligate Family Dollar shareholders to tender their shares in the Dollar General tender offer," it said.

In September, Dollar General reaffirmed its commitment to acquiring Family Dollar Stores. It had been rejected on antitrust regulatory considerations earlier in the month. Family Dollar's board has remained committed to its support of the pending $74.50 per share agreement with Dollar Tree.