The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that former Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas’s bid to buy the company is the only offer currently on the table. The company’s board of directors disputes the report.
The Globe reported:
Arthur T. Demoulas's offer to buy the Market Basket grocery chain is the only bid left on the table, and both sides of the family are furiously negotiating to complete a sale and end the daily losses crippling the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
At about 4 p.m., a spokesperson for Market Basket’s board issued a statement saying the board has “several’’ alternatives, and suggesting Arthur T. Demoulas is partially to blame for the turmoil at the company.
“As the Board has previously noted, it is currently engaged in a rigorous and active process to consider strategic alternatives for the Company, including its possible sale. Despite reports to the contrary, Arthur T. Demoulas is but one of several potential buyers for the Company who continue to express a strong interest in purchasing the Company. While Mr. Demoulas’ offer provides a path toward solving many of the problems he has helped to create, it is but one alternative among the options the Board is reviewing. The Board will continue to evaluate all of the alternatives and ultimately make its recommendation to shareholders. However, the Board has no authority or right to force shareholders to accept an offer as that decision rests solely with the Company’s shareholders.’’
The spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for clarification from Boston.com about whether any other potential deal is being actively discussed or negotiated. The Eagle Tribune also reports Arthur T.’s offer is the only one under consideration.
The Globe reported last week that in recent months, the company’s board had fielded other offers for the company. And Boston.com reported that Arthur T.’s cousin and rival, Arthur S. Demoulas, had at least explored a deal with private equity company Cerberus Capital Management as far back as 2011.
However, the Globe noted that it was unclear whether recent events had caused any potential deals to be pulled or stalled. If only Arthur T.’s offer is being discussed, it would appear as though they have been, or that they were never serious enough to be considered during this time of corporate crisis.
Thomas Kochan, the co-director of the Institute of Work and Employment Research at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, told Boston.com Tuesday morning that the value of the company is surely falling by the day as boycotts and protests continue.
While Market Basket carries some non-grocery value as a real estate holder, Arthur T.’s offer is said to be at or above market value of the chain when it is operating normally. Kochan suggested it is therefore unlikely a better offer will be presented while the company remains at a standstill due to the ongoing dispute.
This article has been updated to reflect a statement from the Market Basket board of directors.