November 21, 2012

Bankruptcy judge approves quick closing of Hostess

In Maine, 500 people are losing their jobs, but suitors are lining up to buy and reopen the bakeries.

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

The head of Twinkie The Kid poster remains on the Wonder Hostess Bakery Outlet store in Victorville, Calif, where a posted sign displays "closed permanently," at the empty commercial property on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. The store's last day open to the public was on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/The Victor Valley Daily Press, David Pardo)

click image to enlarge

This Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, file photo, shows, Hostess Twinkies in a studio in New York. Hostess Brands Inc. said Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, that it received the green light o begin winding down. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Related headlines

A look at Hostess Brands

A bankruptcy court judge on Wednesday granted Hostess Brands Inc. permission to begin winding down its operation.

The company says buyers have already expressed interest in its brands, meaning they could find a second life.

DESSERTS

CupCakes

Ding Dongs

Donettes

Funny Bones

Ho Ho's

Sno Balls

Twinkies

Yodels

BREAD

Beefsteak

Butternut

Home Pride

Merita

Nature's Pride

Wonder

Hostess fired more than 15,000 workers immediately so they could begin getting unemployment benefits.

Hostess lawyer Heather Lennox told the bankruptcy court that the company had received "a flood of inquiries" in recent days from potential buyers, The Associated Press reported.

"We therefore think there could be very healthy competition," Lennox said, adding that Hostess may seek court approval to take specific assets to the auction block within the next several weeks.

Joshua Scherer of investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners LP, which is advising Hostess, said Hostess has received more than two dozen unsolicited calls over the past several days alone from interested buyers.

"These are name-brand companies that everyone in this courtroom would know and recognize," Scherer said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our competitors ... to get iconic brands separated from the legacy liabilities."

Scherer said his firm plans to contact about 145 financial firms, including private equity shops and liquidators, to gauge their interest. Investors such as Sun Capital Partners and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., owner of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, have already said that they are interested in buying some or all of Hostess' assets.

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

jhall@mainetoday.com

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