Stagnant Market Basket Chain Comes To A Fork In The Road

As of Monday afternoon Aug. 25, a deal apparently neared conclusion with Arthur T. Demoulas ready to buy the company from his family. Mr. Demoulas reportedly offered $1.5 billion to buy a little more than half of the shares in the company. He controls the other half of the company.

Because of the complexity of the financing of deal and the need to get approval from shareholders, the agreement has stalled. Also, Arthur S. Demoulas is on his honeymoon after his marriage last weekend.

Arthur T. Demoulas issued the following statement Friday night Aug. 22, expressing hope the deal could be achieved by the end of the weekend.

According to spokesperson Justine Griffin, “Having submitted his final bid on Thursday and heard the statement of the governors (of Massachusetts and New Hampshire) this evening (Aug.22) Arthur T. Demoulas expects that this purchase can and should be finalized immediately. The bid remains at full price and its terms are extremely favorable to the sellers. There is nothing that stands in the way of getting this done this weekend. It’s time to complete this deal so we can all get back to doing what we love doing, and that is running Market Basket.”

Mr. Demoulas visited one of the Market Basket stores last weekend and shook employees hands to say thanks for their support.

For the past few weeks Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan have worked to broker a settlement in the Market Basket impasse. All involved in the controversy, including the board of directors, shoppers, suppliers and even the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire agree a resolution is needed or the company will fall to ruin.

For the past five weeks, sales have drastically plummeted and customers have joined the workers in protesting the actions of the board of directors. The Market Basket Board of Directors reviewed a dozen offers to purchase the company including one by Arthur. T. Demoulas.

During the week of Aug. 18, many vendors and supplies came out publicly and said they stopped doing business with Market Basket because of allegiance to Arthur T. Demoulas; unhappiness or lack of faith in with the current Market Basket management team; or missed payments to suppliers.

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NGA Requests Extension On USDA Retail Meat Grinding Comments

The National Grocers Association (NGA), American Meat Institute and the North American Meat Association, have requested a extension of the comment period of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) recently proposed rule requiring retail supermarkets to keep detailed records on meat-grinding activities.

NGA's President and CEO Peter Larkin, said, "This proposed rule has the potential to significantly impact America's independent supermarket operators; many of whom pride themselves on providing their customers with top-quality meat markets.

“NGA member stores commonly employ knowledgeable butchers who cut and grind ground beef fresh in-store multiple times a day, often upon a customer request. These departments help differentiate independent grocers from their chain competitors. It is important for NGA to have a sufficient amount of time to appropriately gather input and data from our membership so that we are able to convey to USDA the impact this proposed rule would have on our members' store operations.”

The public comment period for USDA's proposed rule expires on Sept. 22.

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NJFC Sets Loss Prevention Scholarship Program

Linda Doherty, president of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), announced the launch of the 2nd Annual Loss Prevention Scholarship Program to benefit loss prevention professionals of NJFC member companies.

The program offers loss prevention solution vendors the opportunity to fund continuing education for NJFC loss prevention associates through the Loss Prevention Foundation. Ms. Doherty said, "We are tremendously pleased to bring back this effective program for a second year thanks to the commitment of Security Resources, Inc., Cambridge Security Services, Eastern Security Corp., Agilence Inc. & the Corrective Education Company in sponsoring these scholarships for our member's loss prevention associates. Their commitment exhibits great dedication to furthering the practice of loss prevention and provides a valuable benefit to our members."

“The N.J. Food Council was the first state council in the United States to incorporate this type of loss prevention scholarship program last year. We are pleased to support their vision to provide the best loss prevention education possible to its members.” said Gene Smith, president of The Loss Prevention Foundation.

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Latest Word in Supermarket News...

The second day of the Maine Food Means Business at the Hilton, Garden Inn in Freeport, Maine (Wednesday, Sept.10) will have an important seminar on The “Future Of Independent Grocers, led by several executives of key distributors in the Northeast. Peter Larkin, president of National Grocers Assn. will lead a discussion with panelists Dan Brock of Bozzuto’s; Michael Bourgoine of Associated Grocers of New England; and Christine Curtis of C&S Wholesale Grocers. Many of those distributor representatives will be speaking at a afternoon seminar on distribution entitled “Connecting The Dots”.

• McCain Foods has signed a deal to sell its North American frozen pizza business to Dr. Oetker GMbH. The deal includes the Elios brand in the U.S. and a two-year license for use of the McCain brand in Canada. The sale also includes operations in Grand Falls New Brunswick and Lodi N.J.. McCain employees at both locations will be offered employment with Dr. Oetker

• Nestle Prepared Foods Co, is initiating the voluntary recall of a limited quantity of LEAN CUISINE Culinary Collection Chicken with Peanut Sauce (UPC code 13800 10154) because it may contain undeclared shrimp and may cause an allergic reaction to people who have an allergy or sensitivity to shrimp.

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