TEWKSBURY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- It's full steam ahead for Market Basket employees Thursday morning after a deal was done late Wednesday night to sell the controlling share of the company to ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
A source tells us that ?a deal was made to sell the grocery store chain to Artie T. for $1.6 billion and he is immediately be back at the helm of the company. The deal, which will take months to finalize, comes after five weeks of unrest when Demoulas was fired and the company named two new co-CEOs.
Employees gathered outside of the store Wednesday night and told FOX 25's Heather Hegedus that they couldn't be happier about the news and can't wait to get back to work.
Overnight, delivery trucks began rolling, and Thursday morning, managers were back in place, removing boycott materials from the windows, and workers were restocking the shelves with goods, including celebratory cakes welcoming back their beloved boss.
Market Basket and Arthur T. Demoulas released the following statement Wednesday evening: "Market Basket and its shareholders are pleased to announce today that the Market Basket shareholders have entered into a binding agreement pursuant to which the Class B shareholders will acquire the 50.5% ownership interest of Market Basket currently owned by the Class A shareholders."
The statement went on to say, "Effective immediately, Arthur T. Demoulas is returning to Market Basket with day-to-day operational authority of the company. He and his management team will return to Market Basket during the interim period while the transaction to purchase the Company is completed. The current Co-CEO's will remain in place pending the closing, which is expected to occur in the next several months. All associates are welcome back to work with the former management team to restore the company back to normal operations."
The statement ended by thanking customers for their support and saying, "Our shared goal is to return Market Basket to the supermarket that its customers have come to rely on for service, quality and best prices."
The feud between Demoulas cousins Artie T. and Arthur S. apparently goes back generations, but only came to a head after Artie T. was fired earlier this summer. His ousting prompted the almost summer-long power struggle to gain control of the supermarket chain. The company lost money with each day that passed as employees walked off the job and customers boycotted.
The escalation of the protests and overall saga led to both the Mass. and N.H. governors intervening, pushing the Market Basket board to make a decision. They released a joint statement after hearing about the deal Wednesday that read: "Market Basket is a major employer in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and an important local resource for the communities the company serves. We are delighted that the parties have reached agreement on terms of sale and resolution of operating authority, so that employees can return to work and customers will once again be able to rely on these stores to meet their needs."
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