US variety store chain Family Dollar has agreed to a big money merger with rival retailer Dollar Tree despite receiving a higher offer from another rival.

Family Dollar shareholders approved the $8.5bn (£5.67bn) cash-and-stock deal despite receiving a higher offer from another larger rival, Dollar General.

Around 74% of the total outstanding shares of Family Dollar voted in favour of the takeover yesterday (Thursday January 22), rejecting a $9.1bn (£6.07bn) all-cash bid from Dollar General.

It came after shareholders voiced “anti-trust” concerns over that offer.

Dollar General chief executive Rick Dreiling called the vote “a loss” for consumers and Family Dollar shareholders.

But Family Dollar chief executive Howard Levine called the Dollar Tree offer “the right one” for shareholders and said he expected the Federal Trade Commission to approve the deal by the end of March.

If it is approved, the deal will see Dollar Tree’s portfolio of stores across the US smash through the 13,000 barrier.

Dollar General currently has around 11,500 stores.

Dollar Tree said it would stick to selling food items, household products and party goods at $1 each, while Family Dollar stores will continue to have multiple price points.