Arthur T Demoulas, or Artie T, is finally back in the saddle as the official Market Basket owner. The deal is finally done. On Friday, Demoulas completed a transaction worth nearly $1.6 billion giving him the remaining 50.5 percent of the company he did not already own and putting him back in the CEO chair.
After decades of feuding over finances and the ousting of beloved Demoulas, loyal employees walked out and customers boycotted. The revolt left the store in bare bones condition, where it was practically inoperable. The demonstration prompted discussions to open about Demoulas buying back his store. Of his employees and faithful customers, Artie T commented that “without them, this would not have been possible.”
The Tewksbury-based store was founded in 1917 and is home to over 26,000 employees, who were all affected by the two-month walkout. Once the walk-out had ended and Demoulas was back in charge, the store was able to bounce back quickly, urging customers to once again shop the way they were used to.
The purchase will put a large debt back into the store. In addition the the $1 billion loan from Market Basket real estate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch joined the mix, lending nearly $600 million. Reportedly, the second loan will be distributed throughout a handful of New England banks, including Rockland Trust and Eastern Bank.
Demoulas was not the only one involved in the purchase of the company. Reportedly, his sisters assisted in the transaction. It has not been confirmed how much, but allegedly they added tens of millions in loans for the purchase. Exact details about the full transaction have not yet been disclosed.
Artie T has been running Market Basket since late August after he was reinstated, but was unable to take full financial control until the sale of the store. Since his return, nearly 1300 hundred jobs have been created by opening three new stores in Littleton, Revere, and Waltham. Two additional stores are scheduled to be opened in Athol and Attleboro early in 2015.
The current debts of the store did not hinder Artie T’s appreciation of his supporters. As a show of financial stability and gratitude towards employees, the annual bonuses were given out as usual. Reportedly, the totals for bonus money was near $49 million.
It has not yet been reported what will happen to the board of directors under the ousted CEO . The current board was hired to replace him when he was ousted, and there is no sign if they will be replaced or if there the board will be restructured.
Now that Arthur T Demoulas is back in the saddle as the official Market Basket CEO and owner, he is confident business will continue booming. The company has nearly $4 billion in revenue every year. Demoulas, famous for avoiding being in debt, stated that this transaction did not seem risky. The sale of the company has greatly benefited employees and customers alike, and Demoulas plans to repay the loans as quickly as possible.
Employees are excited about the reinstatement of their beloved leader. Micum McIntyre, manager of the only Market Basket in Maine, commented that Demoulas being back on top feels like a win.
Moving forward with the addition of two new stores, Arthur T Demoulas is clearly comfortable being back in the saddle as the official owner of the Market Basket stores. His gratitude for loyal employees and faithful customers will continue to be rewarded for years to come.
By Kerri Cushna
Photo by .Imelda – Flickr License