FINANCE

Report: Demoulas to consider Market Basket sale, faces suit

BY Dan Berthiaume

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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FINANCE

Kennedy Wilson’s brokerage group closes four lease transactions

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles – Global real estate investment and services firm Kennedy Wilson has closed four retail and entertainment lease transactions in Hollywood, Santa Monica and Westchester. This collection of new leases, which carry an aggregate value of more than $3 million, points to an uptick in the Los Angeles retail market.

“These four distinctive leases will bring diverse food and shopping options along with new jobs to their nearby communities,” said Ed Sachse, executive managing director of Kennedy Wilson’s Brokerage Group. “People are beginning to feel more comfortable spending and these transactions are reflecting that type of growth in the industry.”

The four lease transactions include clothing store G-Star in West Hollywood, represented by Sachse; build-your-own pizza restaurant Pizza Five 85 located in Westchester, represented by agent Matt Adamczyk; fitness center Dethrone Basecamp in Santa Monica; and entertainment news studio BiteSizeTV, which expanded into the former Drai’s ground-floor private lounge in Hollyood, both represented by agent Lee Shapiro.

All leases are set for at least a five-year term.

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OPERATIONS

Parker’s names convenience vet as VP of real estate

BY Dan Berthiaume

Savannah, Ga. – Bill Bishop has been named VP of real estate and development of convenience store chain Parker’s, a new position for the company. He will work with president and CEO Greg Parker on the company’s strategic real estate negotiations and acquisitions, citing research and permitting coordination with local officials.

He will work with President and CEO Greg Parker to implement a new strategic growth plan while handling all real estate and construction matters for new store development and acquisitions, and will also manage all asset management functions for the company’s existing portfolio.

From 2012 to the present, Bishop served as senior real estate manager for Thorntons Inc., a convenience store group. He was previously real estate acquisitions and development manager for Circle K Stores, from 2008 to 2012, and also served as VP of real estate for Prime Development Group from 2004 to 2008.

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