August 08, 2014

Boston Globe quotes Jim Hanks on bid clash over Market Basket grocery store chain

1 min

Boston Globe, in an August 7, 2014 article, quoted Venable partner Jim Hanks on the bid clash over the Market Basket grocery store chain. Arthur T. Demoulas – former Market Basket president whose side of the family owns 49.5% of the company – has earnestly tried to buy the remaining shares from his rival cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, but has faced firm rejection. Amid the tug-of-war, outside buyers have shown interest, thus complicating matters.

Hanks said an outside buyer might be able to strike a middle ground with Arthur T. That buyer could appoint him to an advisory board, keeping him involved in setting the company’s overall direction while hiring a new chief executive to oversee daily operations.

But most buyers are not so magnanimous, he said, explaining that it was more likely that incoming management would attempt to buy out the remaining shares controlled by Arthur T. While the former president has said his portion of Market Basket is not on the block, things could get uncomfortable for him.

“The buyer could go to Arthur T. and play hardball and say, ‘We have the votes to merge Market Basket with our chain that we own 100 percent,’” Hanks said, thus diluting Arthur T.’s ownership.