dtDiscount retailers Dollar Tree and Family Dollar Stores engaged outside PR support for Dollar Tree's $8.5B acquisition of Family Dollar announced July 28.

Sard Verbinnen & Co is shoring up Matthews, N.C.-based Dollar Tree's corporate communications regarding the deal, a $74.50-per-share bid to create an $18B variety store juggernaut. DT counts 5,080 stores in the US and Canada.

Debbie Miller, managing director and head of Sard's Chicago outpost, is aided by New York principal Nathaniel Garnick on the Dollar Tree assignment.

Board of both of the publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies have signed off on the agreement, which will see Family Dollar's stores take on the Dollar Tree name.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is speaking for Family Dollar, which is based in Chesapeake, Va., and runs 8,200 US stores. Joele Frank president Matthew Sherman and managing director Averell Withers rep Family Dollar, which was facing pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn.

Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser called the deal a "transformational opportunity" that will make DT the leading discount retailer in North America.