Market Basket
5:07 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Market Basket Board Enters Fifth Week Of Negotiations

  The Market Basket Board of Directors concluded yet another day of deliberations today after the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire intervened over the weekend to resolve the management dispute that has all but halted business for a month.

The Market Basket Board attempted to discreetly exit the law offices of their lawyers, Ropes & Gray, in the Prudential Center.

The law firm of Ropes & Gray at the Prudential Center
The law firm of Ropes & Gray at the Prudential Center
Credit Anne Mostue / WGBH

I caught up with one board member, Terry Carleton, as he left.

“I told you the meeting was over,” said Carleton, “That’s about all I can say.”

It’s not clear whether they reached a resolution that might save the Market Basket grocery chain from further implosion.

The 71 family owned supermarkets are losing millions of dollars a day as customers and some employees protest the firing of Arthur T. Demoulas.

That, after Governor Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan met Sunday night with the board in an attempt to push negotiations forward. And the saga has captured the attention of business world nationwide.

Charles Kane is a lecturer at MIT’s Sloan school and sits on the boards of 5 publicly traded companies. He agrees the Market Basket board is under tremendous pressure amid chaos.

“Their challenge now is to stop the bleeding and get the company back online. The media attention seems to be bent against them which I think is unfair because these board members are trying to do what’s right for the shareholders.”

Kane says Finding a buyer would end the feud between the two sides of the Demoulas family that culminated in the firing of Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO last month.

“In order for them to get the reputation back and to gain any value out of what’s left of it I think they need to sell the company. Which is a shame because it’s at a point now where I don’t think it can stand on its own feet.”

Kane believes the Demoulas family should sell to another supermarket chain, which could include prospective overseas buyers. Right now the store’s produce, meat and fish shelves are empty, and vendors have begun slowing and stopping deliveries. The only statement Market Basket released today addressed those vendors, “We have been diligently working with vendors to limit the damage the walkout has caused.”

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