BOSTON, July 24 Arthur T. Demoulas, former chief
executive officer of the DeMoulas Market Basket supermarket
chain, said he wants to buy the company to rescue it from the
turmoil triggered by a family feud and employee revolt.
Market Basket is one of New England's leading privately held
supermarkets - with some $3.55 billion in revenue from its more
than 70 stores - but it is struggling to keep some shelves
stocked due to worker protests over the leadership dispute.
"The Arthur T. Demoulas side of the family has made an offer
to buy the 50.5 percent of shares in DeMoulas Market Basket
Supermarkets we do not own," Arthur T. Demoulas said in a
statement on Thursday, without detailing the offer.
"We care deeply about Market Basket and all of our
Associates and we want to work together to return the company to
its successful model for serving our loyal customers."
Market Basket's board of directors is due to meet on Friday
in Boston. Members were not immediately available to comment.
Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted as CEO of the company in June
after his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, wrested control of the
board, triggering employee protests and a petition drive that
has gathered tens of thousands of signatures.
The CEO position of the Tewksbury, Massachusetts-based
company - which competes with regional chains like Hannaford
Brothers, Shaw's, and Stop & Shop - was filled by former Radio
Shack executive James Gooch and ex-Albertsons executive Felicia
Thornton as co-CEOs.
The feud began decades ago over allegations by Arthur S.'
side of the family that Arthur T.'s father had stolen ownership
shares by setting up shell companies. A judge sided with Arthur
S.'s family in 1994, giving it a 51 percent share.
Despite family tensions, Arthur T. became head of the
company in 2008, and became popular with employees for providing
good pay and benefits and other worker-friendly policies. The
board shifted in Arthur S.'s favor in 2013, however, after two
members were replaced.
Market Basket employees are planning a "final protest" at
the company's Tewksbury headquarters on Friday, to coincide with
the Boston board meeting, according to Save Market Basket, an
employee Facebook page.
(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)