Artie T. & Family Allies Take Full Ownership of Market Basket

Market Basket, Central Plaza, Haverhill.

Market Basket, Central Plaza, Haverhill.

Arthur T. Demoulas completed his $1.6 billion buyout of the Demoulas Market Basket chain Friday afternoon.

Employees and customers alike cheered and took to online social media to laud completion of the deal. Demoulas and family allies formally took ownership of the slightly more than half of the company they did not already own.

“We have gotten word that the sale of DeMoulas Supermarkets has been finalized! Arthur T. Demoulas and his sisters now have sole ownership of this great company and we take tremendous pride in saying in our loudest, proudest voice WE ARE MARKET BASKET!” said a post on the website, wearemarketbasket.com. It was the second piece of good news this week for employees. Earlier, 25,000 employees shared $49 million in bonus money.

“They announced it at my (store) in Waltham. All the customers applauded,” wrote one employee on Facebook. “That's totally awesome,” said another.

The 1 p.m. sale completion was announced by the company in a press release.

“Arthur T. Demoulas and the Market Basket team remain fervently dedicated to our customers and our More For Your Dollar commitment to them. We eagerly embark on this new chapter for the company, and expect steady growth in both the near and long term.  The world witnessed just how incredible our customers and associates are and the rock solid commitment we have to our ‘people first’ culture.” said David McLean, Market Basket operations manager.

The deal brings Arthur T. back as CEO Market Basket six months after the board, in majority control by rival relatives, fired him and two other executives. Customers and workers conducted rallies, protests and a shopper boycott last summer in a successful effort to have the popular boss reinstated.

Co-chief executives James Gooch and Felicia Thornton, hired to replace Demoulas, quietly resigned once the deal was inked.