(Gloucester Daily Times (MA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 25--BOSTON -- Market Basket's board of directors this afternoon announced it will consider offers to buy the company, including that from ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
His offer will be considered "along with any other offers previously received and to be received."
The board also was critical of "certain current and former associates" for their "negative behavior," and asked workers to restore normal operations at the company's 71 locations.
The board's statement in full reads:
"The Board of Directors of Demoulas Super Markets met today and confirmed that the company has received an offer from Arthur T. Demoulas and the other "B" shareholders to acquire the remaining 50.5 percent of the shares of the company.
"The Board said that the offer was received prior to the deadline for the "B" shareholder to present a proposal.
"Consistent with its fiduciary obligations, the board will evaluate and seriously consider this proposal, along with any other offers previously received and to be received.
"Following its evaluation of all of the offers, it will convey its recommendations to the company's shareholders.
"The board acknowledges that it has heard from many stakeholders. The negative behavior of certain current and former associates is at variance with the Company's culture of putting the needs of the Market Basket customers first.
"It is now clear that it is in the interests of all members of the Market Basket community for normal business operations to resume immediately. Furthermore, the Board reaffirmed its election of Co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch to manage the Company in accordance with the Company's bylaws."
Before and while the board met in Boston, bsloads of people began arriving at the site of the Tewksbury store for another rally by employees and supporters who feel disenfranchised by the ouster of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas by the board of directors led by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.
Several thousand people had already arrived at the site an hour before the announced 9 a.m. start of the rally, and reports indicated that the crowd rose to as many as 10,000 by 11 a.m.
There were few people on hand at a brief show of "customer support" rally outside the Gloucester store at Gloucester Crossing, but those there said they remained steadfast in seeking to have Arthur T. Demoulas restored to his post.
In Boston, Eleanor Corcoran, who said she is a loyal Market Basket customer, showed up in the elevator lobby of the Prudential Center and tried to hand Arthur S. Demoulas a shopping bag full of petitions calling for Arthur T's reinstatement.
She said Arthur S. didn't even make eye contact with her and two managers from the Chelsea store who were with her.
She said they did hand a bag to board members William J. Shea of North Andover and Terrence Carleton of Needham, who were appointed to the board by Arthur T.
Corcoran is a native from Haverhill who now lives in Somerville.
Since his ouster, the food chain has been hit with customer boycotts and fierce but orderly protests from employees devoted to Arthur T.
Industry analysts say worker revolts at non-union companies are rare, but what's happening at Market Basket is particularly unusual because the workers are not asking for higher pay or better benefits. They are demanding the reinstatement of beloved former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, who workers credit with keeping prices low, treating employees well and guiding the company's success.
While earlier squabbles between Arthur T. Demoulas and Arthur S. Demoulas were fought in courtrooms, this dispute has spilled into Market Basket stores and parking lots, including the one in Gloucester.
For the past week, warehouse workers have refused to make deliveries to Market Basket's stores, leaving fruit, vegetable, seafood and meat shelves empty. Workers have held huge protest rallies and organized boycott petitions through social media, attracting thousands of supporters.
Customers are defecting to other grocery stores. In some cases, customers have taped receipts from competitors to Market Basket windows.
We will continue to update this story here at gloucestertimes.com as more information develops.
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