January 31, 2013 in Business

Hostess selects lead bidder for Twinkies

Candice Choi Associated Press
 

NEW YORK – Hostess has picked a lead bidder for its famous Twinkies.

The bankrupt company said late Wednesday that it has selected a joint offer from two investment firms – C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC – as the lead bid for its Twinkies and other snack cakes.

Hostess says the two are offering to pay $410 million for the snack-cake business and five bakeries.

The “stalking horse” bid would set the floor for an auction process that lets competitors make better offers. A judge would have to approve any final sale.

After years of management turmoil and turnover, Hostess declared in November it was going out of business and selling its brands. The company already announced separate lead bidders for its other brands including Drake’s cakes and Wonder bread.

The offer sets the stage for the return of Twinkies and other Hostess cakes to supermarket shelves under new management, which could mean stepped up marketing for the spongy yellow cakes with mysterious cream filling. Although supermarkets saw a run on Twinkies when news hit in November that Hostess was going out of business, the company’s sales had been declining amid changing tastes and a lack of investment in marketing.

In bankruptcy proceedings, Hostess has stressed that it needs to move quickly in the sale of its brands to capitalize on the outpouring of nostalgia and media coverage prompted by its demise. The longer the cakes and breads are off shelves, the more people will become accustomed to eating cakes and breads by rivals, the company has said.

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