IRVING, TX -- Bankrupt baker Hostess Brands has picked two private equity firms that made a joint offer as the lead bidders for its famous Twinkies brand and other iconic snack cakes. Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management bid a collective $410 million to acquire Twinkies, Mini Muffins, Cup Cakes, Ho Hos, Zingers and Suzy Q's, along with other Hostess brands, in addition to five bakeries.
Other interested parties will have a chance to outbid the "stalking horse" bidders, who set the floor price for an auction that can be held as early as mid-March. Once the auction winner has been approved by the bankruptcy court judge, a sale is expected to be finalized by April.
Hostess Brands Inc., based in Irving, TX, has been filing the bids for its brands in stages. It announced earlier this week that McKee Foods, the maker of Little Debbie snacks is the stalking horse bidder for its Drake's snack cake brand and Portland, OR-based United States Bakery is the lead bidder for four of its bread products. In early January, Hostess picked Flowers Foods as the lead bidder for Wonder and other bread brands.
"Interest in these iconic brands has been intense and competitive and we expect that to continue through a robust, court-authorized auction process," said Hostess Brands chairman and chief executive Gregory F. Rayburn. "The ultimate goal will be the same we have had since we began marketing all of our assets – to maximize value for all of the company's stakeholders and ensure these great products can be enjoyed by their loyal fans for many years to come."
Hostess had been making its second trip through bankruptcy reorganization when it said it would have to shut down and liquidate its assets after workers belonging to its second biggest union went on strike and the company couldn't reach a deal on a new contract. | SEE STORY