BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The parent company of the Hannaford supermarket chain is now a “serious bidder” for the Market Basket chain, according to a published report.

The report in the Boston Globe said the amount of the bid from the Belgium-based company has not been revealed, but it’s believed to be in the same range as what ousted Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has offered.

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In a statement to WBZ-TV and WBZ-AM, a Hannaford spokesman would not specifically confirm or deny the report.

“Consistent with established policy, Delhaize Group does not comment on rumors or speculation regarding plans to acquire or divest businesses,” said Michael Norton, the director of external communication and community relations for Hannaford.

According to the Globe, 10 other parties have also expressed interest in buying Market Basket.

In a statement last week, the Market Basket board said it was continuing to evaluate several offers to buy the embattled supermarket chain among other “strategic alternatives.”

The board, controlled by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, fired Demoulas in June. Employees loyal to Arthur T. have demanded his reinstatement. Workers have held protests, and refused to make warehouse deliveries to stores.

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Arthur T. still owns 49.5 percent of the Market Basket chain. He has offered to buy the 50.5 percent owned by Arthur S. Demoulas and his family.

The amount of his offer was not disclosed, but a trade publication recently estimated the company’s value as high as $3.5 billion.

The board has said it will make a recommendation to shareholders, but gave no timetable.

There are 71 Market Basket stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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