The American Prospect has the article The Snake in the Market Basket: Can the Company Recover From Employee Revolt Without Loading Up With Debt? by Robert Kuttner.
The article closes with these two paragraphs.
Until now, Market Basket has operated with no debt and lean management, which enabled it to combine good wages and low prices. Mackin views the Market Basket victory as the rare thwarting of a trend to rationalize retailing to the benefit of shareholders and middlemen at the expense of workers and independents that often manage more efficiently.
Yet the piper must be paid, and the money to pay back the private equity partners (whose entire business model is quick windfalls) must come from somewhere. Worse case, we have variant of Orwell’s Animal Farm, where after a while you can’t tell the humans from the pigs.
This is exactly the issue I worried about when I heard that the deal to buyout the “bad” cousins involved a lot of debt. It may not have been obvious to all readers, but the issue was behind my comments in my previous post A Scary Thought.