Hostess Brands Finds Buyer For $410 Million

 
on March 12 2013 10:03 PM
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Apollo Global Management LLC and Metropoulos & Co. will take over Twinkies and other Hostess and Dolly Madison products, bankrupt Hostess Brands announced Tuesday.

Their bid will presented for approval to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court as no other qualified bids were received, the convenience store news site CSPnet.com reported.

Apollo and Metropoulos have agreed to pay $410 million to purchase the brands, five bakeries and certain equipment. Among the products included are the company's Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Donettes snack cakes. The company will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to approve the transaction at a hearing on March 19.

Hostess filed for its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than a decade in January, blaming its unions.

"The agreement results in significant value for our stakeholders and we look forward to putting the proposed transaction before the court next week," said Hostess Brands Chairman and CEO Gregory F. Rayburn.

In a statement to CSP Daily News, Dean Metropoulos said, "We are very pleased to have been named the buyer of the Hostess snack business with our partner Apollo Global Management. Our family is thrilled to have the opportunity to reestablish these iconic brands with new creative marketing ideas and renewed sales efforts and investment. We look forward to having America's favorite snacks back on the shelf by this summer. We are also ecstatic to bring jobs back to many cities across the country."

Apollo and Metropoulos have a shared history of corporate turnarounds, and Metropoulos already owns Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Vlasic pickles, among many ventures into the food industry over the years.

“There’s a great consumer fan base that hasn’t declined,” Daren Metropoulos, one of  Metropoulos’ sons and an executive at the family firm, told The New York Times. “We saw a real opportunity to revitalize these brands, just with some T.L.C.”

“We look forward to discussing opportunities for our members with new ownership, and add value to the revival of these products,” David Durkee, the president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, said in a statement.

Metropoulos is likely to maintain some union representation among Hostess workers, but is unlikely to get "tied up in the same situation that took the company down during the last go-round," an unnamed associate told Reuters.

Apollo and Metropoulos emerged from what at one point seemed like a crowded field of bankruptcy bidders for the brands. At one point, more than 100 parties had expressed interest.

But by 5 p.m. Monday, the deadline for bids, the only qualified offer came from Apollo and Metropoulos. Advisers to Hostess canceled an auction scheduled for Wednesday morning and declared the two the winner.

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