By Jacqueline Renfrow
Ousted Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has reached a binding agreement with rival relatives to buy the remaining Market Basket shares for at least $1.5 billion.
The deal will end a long-standing family feud over control of the New England supermarket chain. Demoulas has been granted authority to run the company from a consultant position as the rest of the deal closes in the coming months.
Demoulas’ firing in June had set off a number of employee walkoffs and resultant boycotts by dedicated customers, costing the company millions in sales and augmenting competitors’ profits, reported Supermarket News. Throughout the six-week period following the firing, several supermarket brands, including The Delhaize Group, were rumored to have bid on ownership of Market Basket, but nothing materialized.
Earlier this month, Demoulas’ offer to buy the remaining shares of the company were rejected, supposedly based on financing, but the former CEO called the consideration of his offer “disingenuous.”
“Effective immediately, Arthur T. Demoulas is returning to Market Basket with day-to-day operational authority of the company. He and his management team will return to Market Basket during the interim period while the transaction to purchase the company is completed. The current co-CEO’s will remain in place pending the closing, which is expected to occur in the next several months,” a Market Basket statement said.
Anonymous sources reported that Demoulas and his sisters had agreed to pay more than $1.5 billion for the 50.5 percent of the company owned by the Class A shareholders appointed by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. The offer includes a $500 million contribution from a private equity firm and a mortgage loan secured by the company’s real estate holdings in Massachussetts .
“All associates are welcome back to work with the former management team to restore the company back to normal operations,” the notice stated.
The agreement ends a dispute so bitter that the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire had to help the Demoulas family reach a resolution, reported the Boston Globe.
T. Demoulas will now be authorized to manage the business and stabilize operations at the company’s 71 stores.
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