CHELSEA, Mass. (WHDH) -
The Market Basket board of directors is negotiating another possible sale of the company.
Hannaford Supermarkets has made a bid larger than the one Arthur T. Demoulas submitted for consideration, according to sources.
A company spokesperson said that they did not have any comment or speculation on the rumor, saying: "Consistent with established policy, Delhaize Group does not comment on rumors or speculation regarding plans to acquire or divest businesses"
On day 20 of the Market Basket movement, protestors are hoping to keep their company family run and reinstate fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, who is still in negotiations to buy the controlling shares.
Market Basket Controller Mike King thinks the rumor is nothing more than a bluff.
"I think it's set out from there the other side's PR firms to try to break the morale of the people that are out here. I think there is one serious offer right now and it's Arthur T.," King said.
Hours after 7News shared a letter from Market Basket, co-CEO Felicia Thornton warned store managers against talking to government officials.
Thornton emailed managers Wednesday telling them that any meeting with a public official had to be cleared through the company's leadership at their Tewksbury headquarters.
That email came after several grocery stores were reportedly contacted by the labor department “in preparation for mass layoffs.”
“I have approximately 1,100 employees here and they're all worried,” Kevin Feole, the store manager at the Chelsea Market Basket, said. “We were directed to adjust our business based on the current customer base. If I did that I'd have to let go of approximately 1,000 employees.”
In response, Thornton sent out a statement, saying "the CEOs have said repeatedly they would welcome back all associates in an effort to return to full operations for the benefit of Market Basket's customers, associates, vendors and communities. It is not their wish that anyone be laid off."
Governor Deval Patrick spoke to reporters and answered questions about the on-going feud at Market Basket, but he said he shouldn't be involved.
“The central issue is that people want a different boss than they have. I get that but I don't think, with due respect to how serious that is, that we want governors making decisions about who the CEO of private companies should be,” Gov. Patrick said.
Employees have been protesting for two weeks in support of former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
“I think the employees know what's at stake but for the employees, and I think it's inspiring, there's a bigger principle here,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “All employees have protection under state law.”