Tewksbury, Mass. – In what should mark the end of a six-week standoff that began July 18, Arthur T. Demoulas, who was fired by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas as CEO of the Market Basket supermarket chain in June, has agreed to buy the company for $1.5 billion. Since Friday, July 18, many Market Basket employees and customers have staged a boycott, dramatically slowing down business at the company’s 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
The purchase price includes about $500 million of private equity financing, which will represent a change for the formerly debt-free company. Arthur T. still held 49.5% of the company as a shareholder after being fired as CEO, and he is buying the remaining 50.5% from Arthur S. and allied family members, thus valuing the full company at about $3 billion.
Felicia Thornton and James Gooch, who were named co-CEOs in June, will remain in place through the closing period to help with the transition to the new leadership team. However, Arthur T. has assumed day-to-day control of the company.
In a statement, Arthur T. Demoulas said, “All associates are welcome back to work with the former management team to restore the company back to normal operations.” However, Demoulas did not specify if this just means store associates who had been boycotting their jobs and in some cases temporarily laid off as business slacked, or also includes at least eight management-level employees who were fired in July.