Deal on the horizon in Market Basket saga



TEWKSBURY, Mass. ( -- Both the Mass. and N.H. governor released a joint statement on the Market Basket saga Friday, saying that those involved are "optimistic that an agreement will be reached to sell the company to Arthur T. Demoulas and restore him to operating authority on an interim basis."

Both sides of the supermarket feud said they planned to have a solution by Friday at 5 p.m., but that deadline came and went without a decision. 

However, about an hour after the cut off, Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement: "In briefings today, all parties report that they are optimistic that an agreement will be reached to sell the company to Arthur T. Demoulas and to restore him to operating authority on an interim basis until the sale closes. Subject to reducing their agreement in principle to writing by Sunday, the Board will forestall taking adverse employment action against the employees who have abandoned their jobs. We are hopeful that employees will return to work, and the stores will reopen, early next week."

The governors also basically add that if the deal is in writing by Sunday the board will rehire the employees who were fired for walking out of work. One of those executives, Tom Trainor, worked at Market Basket 41 years and says he's heard that Artie T.'s offer is a good one.

"From what we understand its a good offer. Let's be done with this, let's go forward before this company no longer exists," he said.

A spokesperson for Artie T. released this statement after the governors' Friday evening: "Having submitted his final bid on Thursday and heard the statement of the governors this evening, Arthur T. Demoulas expects that this purchase can and should be finalized immediately. The bid remains at full price and its terms are extremely favorable to the sellers. There is nothing that stands in the way of getting this done this weekend. It's time to complete this deal so we can all get back to doing what we love doing, and that is running Market Basket."

Sources confirmed to FOX 25 that former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas submitted his final offer Thursday to purchase the controlling interest of the chain from a group led by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. However, there is also reportedly a competing offer form the parent company of rival grocer Hannaford.

Market Basket sources said the Board of Directors talked Friday and that the conversations will continue. Employees say they are ready to get back to work, but will not be fully convinced until the deal is done.

Carlos Ospina is anxious to start earning a paycheck again and said he's "very happy" about the possibility of the saga coming to an end. He's one of thousands of employees who have been protesting for about 5 weeks now and may have been struggling financially while this all plays out.

The company has been losing money as well, tens of millions of dollars per day in fact, as employees and customers continue to protest the firing of Artie T. Store shelves are empty and many distributors have cut ties with the chain.