The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire say they're ``optimistic'' the long-running Market Basket dispute will be resolved with an agreement to sell the company to ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a joint statement Friday that they expect the company will restore Demoulas to ``operating authority'' on an interim basis until the sale closes. The governors said they're hopeful employees will return to work and stores will reopen early next week.

They added that they expect the company will hold off on taking action against employees who left in protest.

Workers for the supermarket chain staged massive protests after Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted in June by the board of directors, which is controlled by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

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