The sale of Market Basket is complete.
Arthur T. Demoulas and his family members have finalized the deal, originally struck in August, to buy out the shares of the grocery chain they did not already control. Arthur T.’s side of the Demoulas family, which previously held 49.5 percent of the company, is acquiring the remainder from the side of the family led by his cousin and long-time rival, Arthur S. Demoulas.
The deal became official Friday at around 1 p.m. Reported at about $1.6 billion, the sale is being funded with debt, according to a source, with no private equity involved. Arthur T. has said he does not expect the debt to have much of an effect on the company’s business model.
Earlier this week, Market Basket issued $49 million worth of holiday bonuses to its workers. The company has opened three stores—in Revere, Littleton, and Waltham—since the deal was reached in August, and plans to open two more in early 2015 (in Attleboro and Athol).
In June, the company’s board of directors, aligned with Arthur S., fired Arthur T. and replaced him with two new co-CEOs. Employees protested the firing, feeling it signaled a shift in terms of how the company would be run and feared that it would be sold.
In mid-July, headquarters and warehouse workers walked off the job, while many customers boycotted the stores—encouraged by workers. Between those factors, business slowed to a near halt for six weeks as employees demanded the return of Arthur T.
Eventually, the two sides of the Demoulas family reached a deal, thus allowing Arthur T. to return to operating the company. Employees returned to work immediately as the company quickly picked itself up off the ground.