Former Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas on Sunday evening lobbed the latest in a series of statements to the press on behalf of himself, the company’s board of directors, and its majority ownership. Several press releases have been issued this weekend as Demoulas has continued in his attempt to buy out the company.
Released through a spokesperson, the statement principally served as a means to decry that such statements were even being made.
“(Arthur T. Demoulas) further hopes that the next time either side is communicating in the press, it is to announce that his bid has been accepted and that he and his whole team are going in to stabilize the company,” it read in part.
On Saturday night, rival shareholders, including Arthur T.’s cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, offered their own statement, saying they are willing to sell to Arthur T., but accusing him of negotiating in bad faith. They also said their side of the family had offered a financing plan to help Arthur T. complete the purchase.
The Sunday statement on behalf of Arthur T. said the two sides have not disagreed about price, but there have been issues “with counterproposals that have been laden with onerous terms that are far beyond comparable transactions.” That may refer to the terms of a proposed financing plan.
The statement also said negotiations continued on Sunday. And it expressed some urgency in completing a deal, reading: “It is Arthur T. Demoulas’ hope that the Arthur S. Demoulas family will come to the table to reach a final agreement on reasonable terms before it is too late to save this company.”
Last weekend, Arthur T. offered to return to running the company with his management team while negotiations continued, an idea rebuffed by the Market Basket board of directors.
Three members of the board later proposed that Arthur T.’s management team, much of which has resigned or been fired since his own June firing, could return and that Arthur T. could play a non-CEO role in helping to stabilize the company during negotiations. (Market Basket has been mired over the past several weeks by employee protests and a customer boycott over Arthur T.’s firing.) Arthur T. dismissed that offer as a negotiating ploy on Friday, leading the board members to issue another statement Saturday morning saying the company was being held “hostage.”
Arthur T., with his side of the family, owns 49.5 percent of Market Basket and is attempting to buy out the remaining 50.5 percent owned by the other side of the family, including Arthur S. At least one other bid, from the parent company of Hannaford Supermarket, is also reportedly being considered.
The Sunday statement in full is below:
It was Arthur T. Demoulas’ hope and intent that this matter not be negotiated in the press. He does not believe that a war of press releases and statements is helpful to this very serious situation. However, he cannot allow false information to have a negative impact on Market Basket Associates and other stakeholders and therefore I will clarify the following on his behalf.
1. Discussions continued today with representatives of the Board and their advisors.
2. Arthur T. Demoulas reaffirms his desire and good faith for completing the purchase of the 50.5% of DSM. Those terms include an offer at their asking price, at a valuation determined pre-crisis.
3. Thus far, his offers have been rejected, not on the basis of price, but with counterproposals that have been laden with onerous terms that are far beyond comparable transactions.
4. It is Arthur T. Demoulas’ hope that the Arthur S. Demoulas family will come to the table to reach a final agreement on reasonable terms before it is too late to save this company.
5. He further hopes that the next time either side is communicating in the press, it is to announce that his bid has been accepted and that he and his whole team are going in to stabilize the company.