WBUR

Mass, N.H. Govs: ‘Agreement In Principle’ To Sell Market Basket To Arthur T.

A shopper reaches into a mostly empty dairy shelf at Market Basket in Haverhill on Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

A shopper reaches into a mostly empty dairy shelf at Market Basket in Haverhill on Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

BOSTON — 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.

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  • Elizabeth Bates

    Umm I work for Market Basket….. 1) the stores were never closed. 2) Are the current temps ceo’s plane tickets reserved 3) I do NOT answer to the press in/re work directives NOR do I answer to the governor of any state in/re work directives. 4) I only will work with and for ATD and the other supervision staff. Once they are all reinstated I expect work directives to actually present themselves in the manner MB has always used. …… So please get back to us about that whoever is sending out these press release/directives.
    Thank you
    Elizabeth Bates
    39718
    Rowley MA store #49

    • http://twitter.com/kaufmanwithak AK

      Yeah Bates.

      • Elizabeth Bates

        Thanks

    • Matthew Vonegidy

      Market Basket’s story has been an inspiration. Good Luck to you and your fellow employees.

      • Elizabeth Bates

        Thank you

    • HampsteadGrandpa

      Cautious optimism. That said, this customer will not return to MB until it’s official and Arthur T. has given the word. While we wait, you and others should take some satisfaction – not pride, not yet – in your efforts, as should those customers who stood with you. Best wishes!

      • richard scalzo

        I’m guessing the first day back will be little shopping and much more partying by the customers and employees.

    • mainemomma

      I visited store #21 today, won’t buy a thing till ATD and the associates who were fired are back at work. Then.. I will fill my pantry with whatever they have on hand, and wait for the day they are fully stocked again. What a shameful BOD, but what inspiring employees MB has. Bravo Elizabeth.

      • Elizabeth Bates

        Thank you. Bravo to you and everyone!!

      • richard scalzo

        Why would you visit a store. Our MB in Epping has zero cars in the lot. Of course some cars do come in and stop while talking with some of the workers outside. I’m hoping they reopen soon. We really miss a lot of the employees were grown to know by name.

    • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

      I love what you stand for… And the fact that you stand up every day, day after day for your convictions. America has mostly lost what you and the good people of MB are fighting for.

      Igniting a New American Movement, MB Strong!

  • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

    .

    It’s Over and MB WON! ~~~ AMERICA WON!

    To all you haters who either were paid to work the Message Boards like Jim & PDK however professional and courteous you 2 were.

    Or those that did it for your own vindictive, spiteful and hating reasons however did so in a truly unwarranted nasty manner including: glide, BostonBlonde, Mike_Connors, Ton80, BostonStrong2013, MikeS Remember This!

    ~~~ We Are Market Basket ~~~ We Are Market Basket Strong!~~~

    May you remember this post every time you walk through the Proud & Righteous Doors of Market Basket!

    What matters is all the good people of MB who risked it all for their convictions against seemingly insurmountable odds with little to gain & everything to lose now still have jobs and MB remains Proudly American!

    Artie T gets to rebuild MB and as he doesn’t have to support the “S” minions with 100′s of millions of cash dividends MB will be greater then ever!

    Setting Precedent, Igniting A New American Movement!

    MB MF’IN Strong!

    .

    • waytogo15

      Well said. You spoke for many , many supporters of M & B, ‘Arti T’ style of corporate governance & employees who stood by their employer, risking all. Wishing them all well.

    • Larry C Newengland

      There were definitely paid trolls posting and it was kind of obvious who they were. My brother makes a living as a paid troll (it doesn’t pay that well). He works for a PR firm and he also trolls on some of the bigger named Hollywood blogs (get paid). What he does is throw out a dig at the subject of the article hoping that fans will flock to defend. It creates hits and generates revenue. I won’t divulge his screen name (obviously) but on the Hollywood blogs he uses a female pseudonym and fake picture. He swoops in on articles about a popular singer or actor and says how awful they are. It is rather amusing.

      As for the Market Basket story there were two I would bet the farm are working for the PR firm. Others are just full of themselves and trying to be contrary because their egos are vastly inflated or are either on summer vacation from high school or retired. Either way they are horribly bored.

      • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

        Larry,
        I think some of them do it for fun as you said the pay is not good. These are the witty angry confrontational types. You should post that on the other site WCVB as well. Many over there have no concept of these type of Message board posters.

      • Eric

        so those of us that do not agree are either paid or have inflated egos. oy…

    • Bob of the North

      Are you related to Karl Marx? You just wrote the long missing prelude to his manifesto. Now sit back and watch what Vladimir T. does once he is in sole power and doesn’t have to shovel money to you to spite his cousin. Get ready for your lesson in power politics…

      • gbrbr

        You are wrong. A person doesn’t change who they are.

        Did you know that one of the upper managers (a fired upper manager) called an employee today with condolences for her fathers death? During that conversations, he said that ATD wanted to know if she needed anything or if he could do anything.

        Additionally, the women mentioned that her brother also worked for MB to which the gentleman replied, yes, Jimmy works in Salem.

        These two men are not working at MB right now. They have no access to MB computers. They actually KNEW THEIR EMPLOYEES NAME AND KNEW THEIR FATHER PASSED AWAY.

        Another employee was mentioning that she had cancer and couldn’t work but ATD continued her insurance to make sure she could get treatment.

        A person like that, who has been like that for many years, even before the court decision when his family had majority control, will not change. He has been the same person for many, many years.

        • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

          That’s why MB can’t fail. When people like Mgt. and their job they do it happily and well. That’s a beautiful story. Can You or I post it on WCVB?

          • gbrbr

            I can ask

          • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

            Great they need to know it too…

      • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

        No money being shoveled to me my man as I am just a Proud supporter of the good employees of MB… I have the popcorn & green tea and am ready for T’s first class act. Should be a great show at least better than the one we have been watching called how to pi-/s-s away $200M in 4 weeks, written, produced and financed by Artie S…

  • Dan Wells

    Who are these people that are still shopping at Market Basket?? Believe me, I can’t wait to start shopping there again..it’s been tough out there in competitor land, but until it is clear that the workers are happy with a deal, those stores should be free of shoppers! Good luck Arthur T. and shame on the “board”!
    When this crisis first occurred a reporter on TV (I forget the network) asked Arthur S. if he had anything to say to the customers. Arthur S. looked at the camera and said nothing. He had nothing to say to the customers because he does not know them nor care to.

    • ROB-1.

      I watched Arthur S on tv and he was one rude man.

    • The liberal one

      I still shop there, went in today and got a few items. What’s worse me shopping there or the employees who refuse to work, say their boycotting but continue to receive a pay check from MB. Hypocrisy at its finest.

      • JenMLX

        Is your last name Gooch? Just trying to figure out why you’re so angry.

      • Dan Wells

        From what I have seen, most of the employees have still shown up for work in the hope that we the customers will not, in a effort to support their cause. I can easily choose to shop elsewhere, which I have. It is much harder for an employee to go work elsewhere. They love their jobs and their boss, a rare combination.
        You seem to feel that Arthur S. was swindled out of what was rightfully his years ago. Perhaps he was, I really don’t know. It i clear that Arthur T. has grown the business using a model not based on investor greed, but on one in which employees can make a decent wage and customers can enjoy fair prices and great service. Arthur S. appears as one who is frustrated by the money that he sees he could potentially be making that instead is going into the pockets of the workers. Do I know the full story? Again, no. But now that it appears a sale is likely, and the BOD has made Arthur T. pay until it hurts, my hope is that the workers and customers all get back to doing what we love. And let’s hope that the BOD finds no joy with their new found pile of money.

      • Al

        Mr L are you a paid member of the board, or just a good friend of Arthur S

      • richard scalzo

        You went there to shop? As there is nothing on the shelf, what could possibly be shopping for?

      • http://nosite.com/ Mothman Livz

        You shopping there is worse.

  • X-Ray

    Arthur T ought to get a deal, a lowered price for MB. After all, it is damaged goods, being run half way into the ground by the self-serving actions of the BoD, not in the interests of the company.

  • X-Ray

    The Harvard Business School should take note and write this episode up as one of their case studies in Administration and Human Resources classes.

  • Steven

    Now that Arthur T owns the company, he can’t steal from his cousin anymore. He will have to steal from the employees and the customers.

    • X-Ray

      Do you have any evidence for your assertions or is it just a gratuitous slander?

      • Steven

        It’s the first law. The Law of Unintended Consequences.

        • Nathan Iverson

          That, then, would be slander. Nice job.

      • The liberal one

        Yes, Art T and his dad were sued by Art S side of the family and lost as it was proven that T’s side of the family stole hundreds of millions from S’s. Let’s also add T’s attorneys got disbarred because of what T had them doing. Do you research, stop slurping the kool aid. T is no saint and he’s more about the money than S as teh court records showed.

        • Al

          To argue which side Arthur T, or Arthur S is better is a bit silly. They both should be ashamed the way they treat the other.
          Now if you understand that and you work at MB, it is which one of these folks have my best interest in the way they would run the business.

          I think we can all agree the employees are better off under Arthur T. . A saint, not at all, but a fair boss, absolutely.

        • richard scalzo

          http://www.bostonbusinessdivorce.com/demoulas-v-demoulas-supermarkets-inc/

          You’re writing your own history. What the lawyers did was never attributed to anything done by Arthur T.

        • X-Ray

          A search reveals no such suit or adverse finding. Please provide a reliable reference for your assertions. You have ignored the original request for confirmation. I suspect your allegations are false.

          • Eric

            You’re kidding right? Demoulas v Demoulas.

    • mulp

      Ah, yes, you are of the class who thinks Arthur S built half of MB by working hard to be born so he could inherit and sit back and do nothing for MB and other than sue to get 50.5% for the family that did no work, because ownership by not working build $2B in revenue, not the workers under Artie T and all the MB customers.

      But if Arthur S built half of MB, why wouldn’t his workers and customers do what he wanted and pay him much more in profits by working for less money and paying higher prices??

      The past five weeks in the history of MB has demonstrated that Arthur S did not build MB by inheriting ownership in a much smaller MB – MB was built by the hard work of workers who won the loyalty of millions of MB customers.

      Arthur S was getting a free lunch thanks to birth, but he was not satisfied and wanted more and more from workers and customers and they said NO! If Arthur S is so smart, he should have built his own business with customers and workers willing to shower him with lots of cash for less in return.

      • Eric

        um..Artie T’s dad stole that money. I am 100% positive you would sue too.

    • Larry C Newengland

      Arthur T has a reputation for giving rather than “stealing” as you so ignorantly and erroneously (not to mention slanderous) put it.

    • Al

      It’s like Arthur S has been doing his whole life , collecting a page for not working a day at the store.

    • richard scalzo

      I’m guessing you’re Arthur S’s wife.

    • gbrbr

      ATD did not do that. His father did that. Do not confuse the two, please.

      • Larry C Newengland

        Seriously gbrbr……are you confused? Yes, his father did that and Artie T carried on the mind set. Arthur S behaves as an investor not a Steward. Do you know the definition of an investor and a Steward?

  • Larry C Newengland

    I was reading some interviews with various business analysts and current members of BOD’s for large prosperous companies. The underlying theme is that the Market Basket BOD, especially the so called independent members, are the worst BOD that any of the analysts have ever seen. One stated that when two governors have to step in to hold the BOD’s hand then it’s time to recognize what a complete failure this BOD has been.

    I will be glad to see this ended and Market Basket go back to the business model it had. Analysts believe it’s doable. They believe Arthur T will continue with the same business model. When asked if it’s at all possible given the huge debt he has incurred plus the huge losses brought about by the BOD’s ineptitude they concluded there is one of three ways: cut back on employee benefits and pay or raise prices or take smaller shareholder distributions. Based on past behavior a lot of analysts believe Artie T will take smaller shareholder distributions. Can you even remotely imagine Arthur S and his family taking that course?

    Arthur S and family acted as investors in the business Arthur T and family acted as stewards of the business to be passed down to various generations.

  • The liberal one

    The facts are simple, MB will go from a debt free company, to one that’s indebt and for a lot of money. Those perks the employees get are likely to be trimmed until its been repaid in full. You will also see a steady price increase on items over the next year or so. Nothing dramatic, but more in line with other stores. MB will also likely be sued for breach of contract by most of if not all their vendors. The MB you all knew and love is likely gone forever and it will be years if ever they will be back to normal. The employees not the BOD destroyed this brand and just going back to work isnt going to fix it. What’s the old saying, it takes years to build up credibility, but one stupid thing and its all gone. That’s what you have with MB a brand that’s been destroyed.

    • JenMLX

      Have you considered the possibility that when thousands of employees are willing to forgo pay and put their jobs on the line for their beliefs, they maybe just might know more about the situation than you? Why is it easier to believe tens of thousands are wrong instead of a handful of spiteful board members willing to destroy the company?

    • CLNO

      Or as is the Arthur T way, he can just have smaller profits and less owner distributions. you see the profits they take home at prime while taking care of the employees. there is plenty of room to absorb the costs when you don’t have people mandating huge shareholder distributions.

    • Al

      You are so right Mr Liberal. The employees should have said nothing because they knew this BOD was going to treat them fairly. Not like Arthur T who put 20 million of the companies money back into the employees pension fund, can you believe the employees actually followed that idiot.

      If the brand was destroyed ( and I doubt it is) it was The inability of Arthur S, and the BOD not understanding the employees resolve, their loyalty to Arthur T, and most of all their customers loyalty to both.

      • Eric

        it was 46 million and MB put that money back at a 5-2 vote to do so. Artie T did not give his own money towards it. It was Artie T who invested that money and it was a bust.

    • richard scalzo

      Go whine someplace else. You sound upset this might just work out. You must be a business owner concerned that treating employees like slaves might backfire.

    • gbrbr

      The facts are:

      The shareholders will take less in distributions to help offset the debt. This will be easily accomplished as ATD will be the majority shareholder and will not be taking less than before. Prices will not go up, salaries will not go down.

      The vendors left and will only come back if ATD is reinstated. All of the vendors said that. With that, vendors will no sue MB.

      MB revenues in 2012 were 4 billion dollars, more than enough to handle the debt.

      There are more than 20 thousand customers waiting to come back. As soon as ATD gives the word, I know this for FACT.

      The customers that stayed away, chose to boycott, for the good of the store and the associates and those same customers will be back.

      A few weeks ago, someone told me that the customers would still shop there because they did not care about anything but the prices. That person was wrong then and you are wrong now.

      Honestly, your post kinds shows that you don’t understand the MB customers, associates or vendors.

      • Eric

        MB revenues were gross 4 billion. By the time all the bills were paid it was around 200 million net. Clearly money will be tight. Historically customers will shop where they feel most comfortable spending their money. Whether it is MB or not. How do you know for Fact that its 20,000 customers? Can I say for a FACT that most customers did not want to be bothered with crossing a picket line or simply chose to shop elsewhere because the shelves were empty?

  • Carl Mastromarino

    Well, the “saint” Arthur T should immediately give ALL of his human shields on strike a 10% raise, and drop some of his prices for we customers who so much loves!

    • jkj56

      Yes, I’m sure you would be at the top of everyone’s list to reward

    • Larry C Newengland

      No one is breaking your arm to shop there Carl.

    • nickj123

      I hate it when people treat people fairly in business Carl.

    • Doug

      Carl. If I didn’t know better I’d say your related to Arthur S. That was “one ridiculous statement” you made! Like Larry said, no one is forcing you to go there! STAY AT SHAW’S!!

    • richard scalzo

      Really? Those prices are already ten percent less than Hannaford’s in this area. The employees have asked for nothing. Does that bother you?

  • http://enlightenedenigma.weebly.com/ Clairvoyant Psychic

    Can’t wait until things are back to normal. Price Rite is no longer cutting it for Me.

  • X-Ray

    It appears that the MB Board would rather see the business go down the drain rather than to back off, maybe take a slight equity loss, and compromise and allow a re-opening of the chain. A 1/2 of one percent shift in the voting stock would bring this disaster to a end.

  • X-Ray

    Principle is one thing; an actual ageement is another. That light at the end of the tunnel maight be a locomotive coming this way.

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