UPDATE 1-Fred's pulls dividend, says exploring options for some assets (FRED)

(Adds details on exploring options, share move)

Dec 6 (Reuters) - Discount store operator Fred's Inc canceled its quarterly cash dividend on Wednesday, and said it was exploring alternatives for its real estate and specialty pharmacy business.

Fred's shares were down about 9 percent in premarket trading.

The retailer, which also reported a bigger loss for the third quarter, said it was canceling its dividend to reduce debt and repurchase shares.

The company said the decision to consider alternatives for non-core assets was not in response to any third party proposal and no decision had been made to engage in any particular transaction.

In September, the company extended a shareholder rights plan and lowered the trigger to 4.9 percent ownership from 10 percent. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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