It was the latest salvo in an escalating war of words between the rival factions in what experts say is a win-at-all-costs strategy that puts the 71-store chain at risk of suffering irreparable damage.
"It's almost like they have this scorched-earth policy where they'll just let the company fall to pieces," said supermarket analyst
The Class A shareholders, who have been silent until now, said they are still willing to sell to Arthur T. for the price he proposed and have also offered to provide financing.
"Our proposal would permit
The directors on Friday offered to have Arthur T. return, but not as CEO, prompting his spokeswoman to accuse the board of trying to "stabilize the company, while they consider selling it to another bidder." Yesterday, the three directors issued a statement accusing
"Business negotiations should not prevent our associates from earning a living or our customers from buying groceries," the directors said. "It is wrong to hold everyone hostage to gain a negotiation advantage."
Arthur T.'s spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest statement from the board and did not respond to an email on the shareholders' statement.
Livingston said the feuding Demoulas cousins may care more about beating the other than making the right decisions for the company.
"I think they're just trying to one-up each other," Livingston said. "Winning becomes more important than the money and winning becomes more important than customers and employees."
Market Basket store shelves have been empty and customers have gone elsewhere since workers launched protests and walkouts
"The value of the company is going down every day for an outside buyer," said Emily Porschitz, a management professor and expert on family owned businesses at
The latest statement from the directors did not sit well with employees.
"It's almost like they're calling us pawns," said
John Savastis, manager of a store in
"To make that kind of statement, that employees are being held hostage by
Porschitz said the battle between cousins is the biggest obstacle to a resolution.
"The feud is so large and deep and long that they really can't have any kind of civil discussion," she said. "They're certainly not sitting down and having any productive communications."
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