The latest volley in a back-and-forth between Market Basket directors and shareholders warring with ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was issued Monday, with independent directors saying "it's time to get everyone back to work."
The statement did not reference Demoulas but did mention an offer to Demoulas for him to return in a diminished capacity on an interim basis while negotiations for the sale of the company continue.
"We are available to resolve this standoff anytime and anywhere," the directors said.
"It's time to get everyone back to work," added the directors, who are Chairman Keith Cowan, Eric Gebaide and Ron Weiner. "We must end this zero sum game and act in the best interest of our associates, our customers -- and in the end, our company."
Those involved in discussions of a potential sale of the Tewksbury-based company were tight-lipped until Friday, when the three independent directors first released a statement Friday putting pressure on Arthur T. to accept a deal in which he would return to the company in a reduced role on an interim basis.
Arthur T. shot back in a statement through a spokeswoman, calling it "disingenuous" to issue a press release after 5 p.m. on a Friday. He also questioned how independent those directors really were because they were appointed by the Arthur S. side of the family.
"This is an attempt to have him stabilize the company, while they consider selling it to another bidder," the statement said of Arthur T.
Then a day later, in a statement released late on a Saturday evening, shareholders on the Arthur S. side of the family said they were open to selling the company to Arthur T. but that the former CEO didn't accept the offer to return to the company in an interim role. They also took a shot at Arthur T., saying he "continues to undermine" the company.
Arthur T. then responded to that statement as well.
"Thus far, his offers have been rejected, not on the basis of price," a spokeswoman said of him, "but with counterproposals that have been laden with onerous terms that are far beyond comparable transactions."
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