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Despite more negotiations, fate of Market Basket remains in limbo

Check-out areas were unoccupied at the Woburn Market Basket store on Friday afternoon.

Zack Wittman for the Boston Globe

Check-out areas were unoccupied at the Woburn Market Basket store on Friday afternoon.

Negotiations over a possible sale of the Market Basket grocery chain to ousted president Arthur T. Demoulas continued Monday without a resolution.

Arthur T. has offered to pay more than $1.5 billion to buy the 50.5 percent of the company owned by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, and other relatives.

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Neither side offered any public comments Monday, as they continued to negotiate terms of the sale and the timing of Arthur T.’s return.

The company’s current management is still holding off from its prior threats to terminate employees who have refused to work in solidarity with Arthur T., whose firing in June triggered the latest uproar over the company.

The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire issued a joint statement late Friday saying a deal appeared imminent and that employees would probably be able to return to work early this week.

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But a final agreement has proved more elusive, even as the employee walkout and customer boycotts continue to cost the company millions of dollars a day.

If a deal is not reached soon, the company could be forced to lay off employees and close stores in order to staunch its financial losses.

Market Basket operates 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine and has 25,000 workers in those states. Thousands of part-time employees have been told not to report to their jobs because there is no work for them. Stores have seen a dramatic decline in customer traffic in recent weeks.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.
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