The planned merger between discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. and one of its chief rivals, Family Dollar Stores Inc., is unlikely to have much effect on customers in Maine, according to specifics of the deal released Monday.

Dollar Tree said that it intends to purchase Family Dollar for about $8.5 billion in cash and company stock. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by early next year.

Virginia-based Dollar Tree has about 30 stores in Maine, and North Carolina-based Family Dollar has at least 35 stores and plans to open more in the coming months. Both chains will keep their original brand names despite the merger, company officials said.

The deal comes less than four months after Family Dollar announced plans to close 370 under-performing locations in its 8,100-store chain. Although it did not specify where the closures would occur, retail analysts in Maine said few closures are expected in the state.

Dollar Tree has nearly 5,000 U.S. stores, which would bring the merged company’s total number of locations to about 13,000.

Company officials said the merger would help both retail chains compete with their largest rival, Dollar General, which has more than 10,000 stores nationwide but none in Maine. However, the Tennessee-based company said earlier this year that it is considering an expansion into Maine.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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