BOSTON (AP) — The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire said Friday they were optimistic the long-running family dispute that has hobbled the Market Basket supermarket chain will be resolved, perhaps as soon as this weekend, with an agreement to sell it to its ousted CEO.
In a statement issued late Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said they expect the company will restore Arthur T. Demoulas to "operating authority" on an interim basis, pending completion of the sale.
The governors, who said they had been briefed by all parties involved in the dispute, were hopeful employees will return to work and stores will resume regular operations early next week. They added that the company's board of directors had agreed to "forestall taking adverse employment action" against employees who left their jobs in protest of Demoulas' ouster.
The popular CEO was fired by a board of directors controlled by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas. It was the culmination of a family feud that has divided the Tewksbury-based chain for decades.
Arthur T. Demoulas said Friday he had submitted his final bid to buy out his rivals' share in the New England company on Thursday.
"The bid remains at full price and its terms are extremely favorable to the sellers," he said in a statement. "There is nothing that stands in the way of getting this done this weekend."
Company officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Last week, Patrick and Hassan, both Democrats, made the unusual move of personally stepping into negotiations as the standoff threatened the future of the popular, low-cost supermarket chain. Both governors have remained in close contact with all parties in the dispute through the week.
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