Have no fear, the Twinkie will survive

Even though Hostess is going into bankruptcy, a line of suitors is interested in grabbing some of its brands. And the Twinkie is one of the hottest ones.

By Kim Peterson Nov 23, 2012 3:36PM
Cheer up, Twinkies fans. The famous yellow snack could probably survive a nuclear attack, so making it through bankruptcy court is a cakewalk.

The phones at Hostess are ringing off the hook as companies line up to pursue the 30 brands that are for sale, now that the final mediation session between the company and its striking employees has failed.
Hostess has received "a flood of inquiries" from interested buyers, attorney Heather Lennox told a bankruptcy judge in court this week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Unfortunately, all 18,500 workers will lose their jobs at a company that should have been managed better. Hostess has been in bankruptcy before, and emerged a few years ago loaded up with debt from its private equity backers. The company was so underwater, in fact, that it couldn't buy new equipment, The New York Times reports. Hostess had more than $860 million in debt earlier this year.

Hostess is unfairly pushing all the blame for its troubles on the unions. Still, the unions do bear some responsibility here. High labor costs doomed the company; employees had formed into 12 different unions by the time the end came.Credit: Philip A. Dwyer/Bellingham Herald/MCT via Getty Images
Caption: Andy Wagar loads Twinkies, Ho-Hos and cupcakes into a van outside the Wonder Bakery Thrift Shop in Bellingham, Washington, on Friday, November 16, 2012

At any rate, Hostess is keeping a "skeleton staff" of 3,200 people, The Journal reports. It's trying to find buyers for 30 brands and 36 factories, and from the way the suitors are lining up, it sounds like Hostess won't have a problem with some of those brands.

"We therefore think there could be very healthy competition," Lennox told the court. Hostess may start auctioning some of its assets soon.

Hostess also plans to award bonuses to the officers and managers that helped run the company into the ground. The company is seeking $1.75 million to distribute to 19 executives for a job well done.

Some potential buyers include international companies eager for a piece of the U.S. bakery business as well as big pastry names already familiar to Americans. Flowers Foods (FLO), which makes Nature's Own bread, has been mentioned as a buyer along with Groupo Bimbo, a Mexican company that also owns the Entenmann's pastry line.

So whoever made the single bid for a $5,000 Twinkie sold on eBay, you may have a great story to tell but you probably won't have one of the last Twinkies ever made. They'll be back.

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Nov 24, 2012 3:51AM

When was the last time you ate a Twinkie?

Do you feed them to your kids?

Yea I know, there delicious. They're an Icon, but really,

How often do you eat them?

How often do you think you should eat them?

We're getting into personal choices here.

Think healthy has been pounded into or fat brains.

Why do you think TWINKIES went bankrupt?

Fail to diversifie. Stuck on what worked.

Just like the UNIONS, What worked in the '40~'50's is the way it's going to be foever. Period.

Nov 24, 2012 3:48AM
mayby the goverment will bail them out like gm
Nov 24, 2012 3:40AM
When they sell the company to there buddies,the union needs to be standing right there in front of the door with labor contracts.
Nov 24, 2012 3:36AM

WE need more unions to hit these big businesses and corps.They have the money.Its one of the biggest ways to bring back the middle class.There were alot more unions back in the day and the middle class was good.There are less unions today and alot more people getting payed less,because of no contract working,and told no money is being made.But they prove it every day,by foolish spending,and hugh bonuses and saleries they try to keep secret.Corp planes and hugh money business trips.And that is just some of the stuff we now about.

Nov 24, 2012 3:27AM
Just for Twinkies?  What's really going on with Hostess?  I haven't seen or heard what type of bankruptcy Hostess is going through yet. 

Hard to tell from what has been reported so far from what I've seen or heard so far.  By the way, there are more than a single type or kind of bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy can be good toolsat times and can land most anywhere between or from destruction, restructuring and dissolution.  So, which one is it?   Why wasn't that that reported?  It makes a drastically huge difference in the outcome for everyone involved.  Or, is it just legalized union busting by the company itself to just reform a company at a later date?  Company or Unions caused problems?  Does it matter?  Sometimes, one's as bad as the other and not much will help?
Nov 24, 2012 3:25AM

Out of all people,big corps and hugh companies are the perfect people to hit with unions.They have the money,and rove it every time they pass out HUGH undeserving bonuses,and pay out hugh saleries to the front office people,give out hugh compaign funding to republicans,and throw hugh business expense trips and who knows what else.

The smaller businesses might have a harder time keeping unions in,but the big one's for sure do,and just are made to think like there not making any money.Just the 1.75 million they passed out in bonuses could have kept the company running for several more years.It will be the same players,but different names.Thats how they get around the unions and keep the profits,and make you believe there not making any money.WAKE UP PEOPLE.



Nov 24, 2012 3:07AM
Unions are not to blame,if fact we need more unions.BIG corp and business,need to take less profits and stop corp waste spending,and hugh corp bonuses and pay,and donate less to politition campain contibutions.And give more to the workers benifits and pention.Dont let them fool you,thy have the money,its just going to switch hands now,and make you believe they dont have the money,and by doing that,they could get rid of the union now and keep the big profits again.
Nov 24, 2012 2:55AM
So much for poor leaderships results?  Just get the money and run while a company and it's employees go down the drain?  On both sides, ever notice how greed and ignorance appear to go hand in hand?  Neither side, labor unions or company executives, appear to have been too good at negotiating with each other.  So much for good help on either side when they both need more help than they know how to give? 

They all should be ashamed of themselves.  As far as the Unions and the Hostess company leaders go, I wouldn't employ a single one of them when they all cut off their noses and most likely main source of livelihood at the expense of each other.  Basically, they all drove the company into the ground. 

It's just about the same as killing a person and comes pretty close to being inexcusable. 
All the countless time, blood,sweat and tears that go into creating and nurturing a business just get's flushed down the drain because some people in the wrong place don't know how to manage themselves, other people or their concerns.  Rewards for who for what? It's pretty sickening all the way around. 
What would happen if the unions spent their efforts in China?
Nov 24, 2012 2:40AM
what a piece of work you are. Your hatred for capitalism and "big business" reeks that of a hippy who hasn't taken a shower in a month. You stated  "High labor costs doomed the company" but you also say "Hostess is unfairly pushing all the blame for its troubles on the unions" you just said High labor was their doom! who but unions are the ones negotiating wages!  Then you said "Hostess also plans to award bonuses to the officers and managers that helped run the company into the ground" another shot at "those evil executives!" maybe in your opinion, but why don't you stick to the facts, and when you give facts, source them, and keep your opinions to your self. After you stated High Labor was there doom, you attack everyone but the people responsible for that high labor.  What was hostess asking for? an eight per cent wage cut? so if you make 2000 a month you would now make 1840 a month. Dang! no more cable tv and the highest internet speeds, but at least i can still provide food for my family.   How about a detailed report on the real trouble hostess has been having, and the real causes of those problems over the years!  Oh wait because no one really cares that much about the details.  The only thing most average people care about is the fact that 10000 + people will be losing their jobs, so you tie that in to someone you can blame it on, "those @$%# evil big business" types. All in an effort to fire people up and believe more of your non sense. you make me sick!
Nov 24, 2012 2:20AM
Donald Trump should buy Hostess. He'd be perfect - an overindulgent puff, full of cream, with a ridiculous looking top. A match made in heaven.
Nov 24, 2012 1:52AM
Boy-o-boy if this doesn't sound like what went on at L.T.V.Steel corp. the high mucky-mucks lining their pockets with the CASH while blaming the labor union for all the companies problems. When a company doesn't have enough money to buy new equiptment it isn't because of the labor union it's because the high Mucky-mucks were filling their pockets with the cash with their obscene salaries and bonuses which were most likely unearned, instead of keeping some monies in the bank for just such purchases.  Now they are trying to get permission from the bankruptsy judge to give more bonuses for sticking around while the company is liquidated, this doesn't sound very good, whats to say when they do get it will they stay around or take flight like one JOHN BRICKER did after getting the same type bonus at L.T.V.Steel when the mill was in its second bankruptsy in nine years i firmly believe the judge should put the company in trustyship and look at the records of all the so called exec's and reduce the salaries of them all and keep the company going..
Nov 24, 2012 1:36AM

Sell it back to the workers.

They will make it work since they are not greedy, just good old American patriots.

Lean out management and allow the front line workers turn twinkies into gold.


Maybe its time management retires.


Nov 24, 2012 1:35AM
This is the result of good, old fashioned, pull-yerself-up-by-the-bootstraps UNION BARGAINING. If the union don't bargain and the company closes, what do they care?  They already have another job all lined up.  Who suffers?  All of the employees of Hostess AND us when the "TWINKIES" knock-offs (and others) hit the store shelves. And people say that unions are great.  Look at what it did for Hostess.  In my opinion, unions s*ck.
Nov 24, 2012 1:32AM

When can I buy stock after Hostess's re organization?

Wouldnt' mind hitting gold when it ends up being a 10 bagger! 

Nov 24, 2012 1:28AM

I didn't think walking away from a gold mine was what most entrepeneurs thought regarding the Hostess brand. Just the thought of that near sighted speculation - of no one wanting to buy a twinkie anymore is completely absurd. Its all American Junk food. 


Common people...everyone loves a twinkie at least once in their lives, and thiers about 7 billion of us now on this rock. 




Nov 24, 2012 1:22AM
Let Flowers Foods buy them they are 90 some year old company and the second largest baked foods company but the largest one is a Mexican company so I guess they are the number one US baked foods company, they bought keebler and made it profitable within a year then sold it to Kelloggs because it was not their core business baking bread and snack cakes, "The Flowers Way" works. They just bought TastyKake a great snack cake and they will make a great home for Hostess snack cakes they have the best bread in the world in Nature's Own now
Nov 24, 2012 1:17AM
I won't argue that unions once had their place in America. But with the regulations that are now in place, it seems like the only thing the unions do is hurt business and put workers at even further risk.  And thanks for making your liberal leanings quite obvious in this piece Kim Peterson. Just what I expect from MSNBC.
Nov 24, 2012 1:14AM
I agree with NewGawker.  Unions put this company under.  And, yes, management is likely due bonuses for staying with the company until the very end.  It's a very common incentive for execs in order to keep them in the fold. 
Nov 24, 2012 12:52AM
It is true that union demands have been excessive at times. The real cause for the disappearance of American manufacturing jobs is the numerous free trade agreements over the last 30 years. There is no way the American wage earner can compete with second and third world labor. Skilled Chinese workers make between $1.05 to a $1.50 an hour. They are second world workers. Third world workers make $1.00 to $2.00 a day in countries such as mexico and Indoneasa In 1980 the average CEO made between 30 to 40 times more than the average worker. Today they make 450 to 500 times more. Just something to think about.
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