Hannaford Parent Company Makes Market Basket Bid

Market Basket employees Rees Gemmell, far right, and colleagues acknowledge passing supporters as they picket in front of the supermarket Thursday, July 24, in Haverhill.
Market Basket employees Rees Gemmell, far right, and colleagues acknowledge passing supporters as they picket in front of the supermarket Thursday, July 24, in Haverhill. –AP

The Boston Globe is reporting that the parent company of Hannaford has made a bid to buy “part or all’’ of the besieged Market Basket chain of supermarkets.

The Boston Globe reports:

The Belgium-based parent of Hannaford Bros. Co. is offering to buy part or all of Market Basket, which competes with it in markets throughout New England, said these people, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Under the current circumstances, Hannaford would at most be able to buy only a slim majority of the grocery chain — the 50.5 percent that is owned by Arthur S. Demoulas and his siblings — because Arthur T. has not offered to sell the 49.5 percent owned by his side of the family.

Click here to read the full Boston Globe story.

Should the controlling shareholders, led by Arthur S. Demoulas, sell their 50.5 percent of the company to someone other than Arthur T., that bidder would instantly inherit the same headaches the current board of directors and management team now face.

According to the Globe, the new owners could install their own management team.

The buyer could install its own president and push Arthur T. out of the picture but would probably find itself dealing with the same labor unrest plaguing the company now. Or it could hand the reins back to Arthur T.

“The problem there is they would have to have a lot of faith in Arthur T., and you can basically never get rid of him if it doesn’t work out,’’ [Clark University professor of industrial relations Gary] Chaison said. “But I think the only way out is a return to the past, with Arthur T. getting his job back.’’

A post on the Save Market Basket Facebook page seemed to reinforce the idea that any buyer other than Arthur T. would face continued protests and boycotts.

To any potential buyers other than ATD, you better look at the complete wreck of a business you are buying and you had also better know that the ONLY CEO that can get this fixed and get associates and customers back is ATD. Delhaize(hannaford), Cerberus(shaws) and Ahold(stop & shop) you have been put on notice.

If you buy this shell of a once great business then that is what you will end up with, a shell of a once great business. There is only one option for the shareholders sell to ATD and stop this nonsense of saying there are other bidders.


The New York Times previously reported the board was mulling between a dozen offers, though it did not say how serious those bids were. It also cited a source who said Arthur T.’s bid has potential financing problems:

…the confrontation over his reinstatement has complicated his bid for the company, according to people close to the process, who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Despite owning nearly half the company, they said, Arthur T. Demoulas is the only bidder who needs financing to buy it. (Other suitors include national supermarket chains and big investment firms.) But potential lenders are wary of providing financing to him until the stores are up and running.

He could conceivably call for workers to drop their protest and customers to return to the stores, but he would not be guaranteed of winning the company and could lose his leverage in the process.

Check out more Boston.com coverage of the Market Basket saga.

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