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Hedge fund manager becomes Family Dollar Stores’ largest shareholder

A hedge fund manager has increased his stake in Family Dollar Stores, making him the largest shareholder in the company.

According to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, William Ackman, chief executive of New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, has bought a total of approximately 10.9 million shares of the Matthews-based company’s stock, bringing his stake in the company to 8.9 percent.

CEO Howard Levine, with a 7.8 percent stake, owns the next-largest amount of Family Dollar shares.

Leon Levine founded Family Dollar in Charlotte in 1959.

The company has 6,800 stores in 44 states. In fiscal 2010 it had $7.9 billion in sales and more than $358 million in earnings.

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