Another Day, Another Lawsuit

Last week in New Hampshire Superior Court, Pillsbury Realty Development, LLC filed a complaint against DSM for, among other things, breach of contract and are looking for an award for damages of up to $22,500,000. Included in that number is $18,500,000 of DSM real estate holdings in the state of NH and $4,000,000 in professional fees.

Pillsbury Realty is the developer who entered an agreement with DSM in 2011 to cooperate in “the design, construction, and funding of an access road that will serve DSM’s new supermarket” in Londonderry. In short, when the company moved store 42 across the parking lot to its current location, an access road was required by the town to help ease the traffic on route 102 and so the people of Londonderry and Derry could have an alternate way into and out of the store’s parking lot. This road would be a part of Pillsbury’s planned development of “Woodmont Commons”, which was to be the largest project of its kind in NH history. In 2011, the DSM Board of Directors vetted and agreed to go forward with this however, when the new Board took the reins in 2013, the Board decided in August that it wasn’t so sure.

Why weren’t they so sure? A member of the Pillsbury team is Michael Kettenbach, brother in law of ATD, and the Board did not want to have any part in a deal where a member of ATD’s family might be involved. Forget about the fact that the town of Londonderry, all of its residents and the surrounding towns would benefit from this project. All of these benefits were cast aside so that ASD’s Agenda of Resentment could go forward.

We encourage you to read the document. Upon doing so, you will see that Pillsbury is taking action now because they believe if they don’t there may not be enough assets held by DSM in the not too distant future for them to be repaid with. To quote: “the current DSM Board is in the process of encumbering or selling a substantial amount of DSM’s real estate and other assets, and may vote at any time as it has in the past, to distribute all or most of DSM’s remaining cash reserves.”

Pillsbury sees the same writing on the wall that we have been seeing for some time. This Board and the A shareholders want to grab as much cash as they can and then let come what may of the company. Along the way they will have no regard for the hard earned reputation of Market Basket, where our word has always been our bond. Be it in the buyers’ offices, the boardroom or in the stores, when we agree to something you could always bank on it being carried through. As Pillsbury and the town of Londonderry can now see, that no longer is the case.

The Board and the A’s should bank on this: We will stand together and fight you until you back down. The value of your investments can be affected greatly by our actions and we will not hesitate to take whatever steps we see as necessary to drive our point home. If we sniff out that you are going to dismantle our company by selling off the real estate, we will make things very unstable at those locations. We can’t imagine any prospective buyer would be very pleased if the anchor tenant was a 75 thousand square foot beehive.

Comments

  1. Lawrence Frost says:

    April 26, 2014

    Hello once again Shareholders/BOD,

    HOW OFTEN DO YOU SHOP AT MARKET BASKET? Do you know your customer base? For Attorney Fitzpatrick to call the 4% savings LUDICRIOUS shows that you might just be OUT OF TOUCH. I say this not to be rude but to prove a point. Fitzie stated that the shareholders are out of hundreds of millions of dollars because of this 4%? Imagine how much money the shareholders would have if TWO (2) built stores would open instead of sitting there collecting dust, but in true MB fashion someone is more than likely dusting the stores off. With those stores not being open, how else would Market Basket be able to expand its customer base? If the BOD knows its customer base then the BOD would know that Market Basket customers travel distances to save money (mullah, dinero). I have written this before so I shall write it again so maybe just maybe this might be the time that it will finally be comprehended: customers from WALTHAM travel to BILLERICA to shop. Customers from Gardner, Ayer, Athol, Worcester travel to Leominster or the Fitchburg stores to shop. WHY? I’ve also written this before so as a refresher TO SAVE MONEY. The money saved is more than the cost of gas to travel. Factor in the 4%, now potential customers who thought the travel might not be worth it may find that it is. After a year of savings, if a customer spends around the same amount each week, the customers savings would be equal to 2 weeks of groceries FREE. As for shopping at Market Basket often if you do, then you know how busy the stores are especially on the weekends. The parking lots are full and lines could be to the aisles. When Stop n Shop was open in Hudson NH, how do you vision their lot compared to Market Basket’s, which was across the street? It looked like a ghost town. Why? Our prices. Don’t forget about our Service.

    As for the upcoming BOD meeting, why are the Class B directors being excluded from information that would aid them in casting their votes? When ATD held the majority, why did the committees contain a director from A, B, A/B and now a member from the B directors are on only 3 of the 8 committees? Is the board really considering selling all real-estate holdings? Why is Pillsbury Realty suing DSM? Why would DSM not honor its obligation to Pillsbury Realty? When casting votes on Monday, remember that 2017 will mark 100th Anniversary. What will DSM’s legacy be? More for your Dollar – excellent service, tremendous value, high quality product all found in a clean, well-organized store or as a company in a Civil War? Remember BOD, that your obligation is not only for the shareholders but also for the good of the company (customers, employees, vendors). If you are aware that Market Basket ranked #6 in Consumer Reports ratings of grocery stores NATIONALLY, why would you changing course which could be detrimental to the growth of the company and moving up to at least #5 next year (we were previously #7)?

    Thank you for your time,

    Lawrence “Larry” Frost
    Head Cashier #17
    21 years and counting

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