The family feud that has brought the Market Basket supermarket chain to its knees may be nearing its end.
Ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has reportedly made a $1.5 billion offer to buy out the part of the company controlled by his rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, and his allies on the board.
The board was scheduled to meet Sunday but the meeting was called off due to disagreements over some terms of the sale.
Arthur T. Demoulas' ouster earlier this summer prompted an employee walkout and customer boycott that has led to empty shelves and a mere trickle of business at the private company's 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Store managers and employees expressed confidence over the weekend that a deal was imminent.
Saturday: This story reported by Curt Nickisch at WBUR.
The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire say an “agreement in principle” is at hand to sell Market Basket to ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
In a joint statement, Govs. Deval Patrick and Maggie Hassan say under the pending deal, Arthur T. Demoulas would be reinstated to “operating authority” until the sale closes.
The governors were briefed on negotiations Friday, in which “all parties” said they were optimistic the deal would be finalized. But the agreement in principle is not yet in writing.
The governors’ statement says that while the deal is put in writing by Sunday, the Market Basket board of directors will not fire employees who walked off their job five weeks ago.
A spokeswoman for Arthur T. Demoulas says the deal’s terms are extremely favorable to the sellers.
“There is nothing that stands in the way of getting this done this weekend. It’s time to complete this deal so we can all get back to doing what we love doing, and that is running Market Basket.”
The governors said they’re hopeful employees will be able to return to work early next week.
Full Statement From Govs. Patrick and Hassan:
“In briefings today, all parties report that they are optimistic that an agreement will be reached to sell the company to Arthur T. Demoulas and to restore him to operating authority on an interim basis until the sale closes. Subject to reducing their agreement in principle to writing by Sunday, the Board will forestall taking adverse employment action against the employees who have abandoned their jobs. We are hopeful that employees will return to work, and the stores will reopen, early next week.”
Full Statement From a spokeswoman for Arthur T:
Having submitted his final bid on Thursday and heard the statement of the Governors this evening, Arthur T. Demoulas expects that this purchase can and should be finalized immediately. The bid remains at full price and its terms are extremely favorable to the sellers. There is nothing that stands in the way of getting this done this weekend. It’s time to complete this deal so we can all get back to doing what we love doing, and that is running Market Basket.