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Basket grocery chain, Governor Deval Patrick and Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire brokered negotiations Sunday night aimed at ending the bitter family standoff that has left the 71-store chain on the brink of collapse and put thousands of people out of work.

"After several hours of discussion, a deal remained elusive but the talks were said to be promising, and continued into the night. Arthur T. Demoulas is trying to buy the company from rival family members and return as president … The negotiations included the two feuding cousins at the center of the dispute, Arthur T. and Arthur S. Demoulas, as well as board chairman Keith Cowan, and Tina Albright, representing one of the shareholders, according to the statement. Neither Arthur S. nor Arthur T. offered a comment on the status of the negotiations."

The negotiations were said to have made "real progress," and that some sort of resolution seemed to be "within reach." The Globe reports that a Market Basket "board meeting was scheduled to be convened on Monday in Boston, as the company faces a shrinking set of options for continuing to operate. It has lost tens of millions of dollars in recent weeks due to an employee walkout and customer boycott, and it is unclear how much longer it can keep stores open."

Gov. Patrick has helped to broker the negotiations despite the fact that his wife is a partner in the law firm representing independent board members, who have been seen as more sympathetic to Arthur S. Demoulas.
KC's View:
ast Saturday there was a customer-oriented, pro-Arthur T. Demoulas rally at one of the company's stores, which just shows you how far out of hand this thing has gotten.

It doesn't matter which side you think has the best argument right now. Market Basket, if it is going to continue being a sustainable retailing entity, has to get thing resolved … and I think the only thing that keeps the company viable is to sell it to Arthur T. Demoulas. I can't imagine that it makes sense for the Arthur S. Demoulas side of the family to keep it, and selling it to Ahold or Delhaize, two of the rumored interested suitors, doesn't make sense either. The currents are too strong in one direction to resist … there's only one viable option, so they ought to just get it done, and get back to business.

Last ditch negotiations? The parties involved have to worry that the company already is in a ditch from which there is no return.