January 5, 2013

Two bidders emerge for Hostess bread brands

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hostess may reveal the discussions as early as this week.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - The makers of Thomas' English muffins and Tastykake snacks are emerging as two of the bidders for Wonder Bread and other Hostess bread brands as the company tries to sell off its assets under bankruptcy-court oversight, a newspaper reported Saturday.

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Wonder Bread and other Hostess bread brands have attracted bids from the makers of Thomas' English muffins and Tastykake snacks, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hostess announced in November that it was shutting down its business and selling its bread, snacks and cakes brands along with its 33 bakeries and other operations.

2012 File photo/Joe Phelan

The Wall Street Journal said Hostess Brands Inc. could reveal as early as this week that Flowers Foods Inc. and Grupo Bimbo SAB are in discussions to acquire the bread brands, which also include Nature's Pride.

The report said the brands could command $350 million.

Grupo Bimbo's brands include Arnold breads, Thomas' English muffins and Entenmann's cakes. Flowers Foods Inc.'s brands include Nature's Own breads and Tastykake snacks.

Hostess sells Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, along with Dolly Madison cakes, which includes Coffee Cakes and Zingers. Hostess also sells Devil Dogs, Funny Bones, and Yodels under the Drake's brand.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, announced in November that it was shutting down its business and selling its bread, snacks and cakes brands along with its 33 bakeries and other operations. The company's demise came after years of management turmoil and turnover. Workers said the company failed to invest in updating its snack cakes and breads.

Hostess filed for its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than a decade last year, citing steep costs associated with its unionized work force.

Grupo Bimbo is headquartered in Mexico. Flowers Foods is based in Thomasville, Ga.

An attorney for Hostess said in court in December that 1,100 employees had been retained to shut down plants and perform other tasks as it winds down its operations.

The liquidation of the company will ultimately mean the loss of 18,000 jobs, including about 500 in Maine.

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