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.