Report: Demoulas to consider Market Basket sale, faces suit

Tewskbury, Mass. – The unfolding saga at the Market Basket grocery chain continues to take unexpected twists and turns. According to the Boston Globe, the board of directors of Market Basket parent company Demoulas Super Markets has said it will consider a purchase offer from former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, and the company also faces a lawsuit from several employees.

Arthur T. Demoulas, who was ousted as CEO of Demoulas Super Markets in June 2014 after a dispute with his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas but remains a major company shareholder, has publicly offered to purchase the remaining 50.5% of the company for an undisclosed sum. The board of Demoulas said it will “seriously” consider the offer from Demoulas and any other potential purchasers.

Several other unidentified suitors are reportedly offering between $2.8 billion and $3.3 billion for the Market Basket chain, which operates 71 stores in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The privately held company reportedly had revenue of $4.6 billion in 2013.

In addition, two former Market Basket employees have filed suit in state court alleging that Market Basket locked overnight shift workers in stores until their shifts ended in the morning, forcing them to take unpaid breaks.

Since an employee rally was held at Market Basket headquarters on July 18, numerous employees have walked off their jobs, including almost all warehouse personnel and drivers, leading to virtually no product being available on Market Basket shelves. So far eight management-level employees have lost their jobs, but the Demoulas board has said any other employees who return to work will not be punished.

A second rally at corporate headquarters was held July 25, and employee groups such as Save Market Basket have publicly said workers will not return until Arthur T. Demoulas is reinstated as CEO. The board has publicly affirmed its commitment to his replacement co-CEOs, Jim Gooch and Felicia Thornton.

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