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.

More from Top Stocks

Nov 26, 2012 11:07AM

How the Hostess company is being divided up

You may have heard that Hostess Bakery plants shut down due to a workers' strike. But you may not have heard how It was split up.

The State Department hired all the Twinkies, the Secret Service hired all the HoHos, the generals are sleeping with the Cupcakes and the voters sent all the Ding Dongs to Congress.

Nov 26, 2012 11:06AM

Sure get a kick out....Unions this,unions that....blah,blah..

Ripplewood H. will lose $150 million, they injected,,,,,,Think you might be pretty naive?


What do you think Hostess as a total entity might be worth ??

Don't really think Ripple and/or other Bond and Loan holders are going to get hurt..?

This has been a long term plan of Vulture Capitalist to seize Competition and proprietary Brands and Information...Then shidt can the deal, walking away with 100s of millions in liquidation of assets.

And no obligations to the workers that kept the Company running,while taking one concession after another to keep their jobs over the last few years...Wait till they buy out your Company next.

Nov 26, 2012 11:03AM
And yet the CEO kept giving himself raises and cutting workers' pay despite the trouble the company was in...
Nov 26, 2012 10:56AM
Blame the union, workers? Where do you think it started? The Top! And they are going to get Bonus's for a Job Well Done? How Sad. Greedy Greedy Greedy!
Nov 26, 2012 10:48AM

> Unfortunately, all 18,500 workers will lose their jobs at a company that

> should have been managed better.

> Hostess is unfairly pushing all the blame for its troubles on the unions.


From what ONE source are you getting your information?  Have you followed the work ethics and union worker tactics for years gathering data?


Nice fair & balanced reporting.....

Nov 26, 2012 10:42AM
First off most of you don't know all the facts ,so to condemn only the union is bs...management kept spending borrowed money for things they did not need including raises for themselves..now granted I agree the union should have settled  and moved forward,but we don't know all the details of those negotiations.Maybe they wanted concessions from management also...We probably will never know but it is very sad...
Nov 26, 2012 10:32AM
Entenmann's is owned by Groupo Bimbo!?! Sick! Not that I do frequently, but I will not buy that product ever again. What is happening to this country? In my lifetime is has been pieced away and pieced away!
Nov 26, 2012 10:19AM
I just read "The company is seeking $1.75 million to distribute to 19 executives for a job well done." What kind of a job well done? Driving a company into bankruptcy. Any  manager that drives a company into bankruptcy should be fired NOT rewarded with $1.75 million.
Nov 26, 2012 10:18AM
If they start making them in Mexico I'm not eating them!
Nov 26, 2012 10:10AM
Union members are too stupid to know their leaders are leading them to the slaughter, just like the Obama supporters.
Nov 26, 2012 9:56AM
I would not go run a company under the death-grip of a union without a guaranteed salary/bonus regardless of outcome.  Ripplewood Holdings lost all of its $150 million investment + the guaranteed bonuses which are a rounding error on the balance sheet of financial fraud that is a union.  I bet the union chiefs get their bonuses - but no crying from the left about that.  Unions are a parasite and will die as soon as they complete killing all the hosts (or Hostesses as the case may be) left in the US and ALL manufacturing goes over seas. 
Nov 26, 2012 9:49AM
None of those executives deserve a bonus!  That's outrageous that they think they'll get it.
Nov 26, 2012 9:48AM

Things you won't hear from they state controlled media:

The unions killed Hostess and every other industry they touch.

Ripplewood Holdings injected a total $150 million as Hostess sank deeper into trouble. It lost every dollar

Hostess paid out almost $100 million in health benefits for retirees last year, but over half of it covered workers who never had worked at Hostess. The Teamsters’ onerous and antiquated “multi-employer pension plan” foists the pension obligations of a bankrupt company on to the balance sheets of surviving rivals—ensuring a steady death spiral in any declining industry.

Union rules forced Hostess to run separate truck fleets for delivering bread vs. sweets. A sweets driver, serving a 7-11 store, was forbidden from restocking shelves with breads already delivered and waiting in the back—he had to call for a bread driver to swing by and handle.

The union restrictions on the 5,500 distribution routes at Hostess made it unprofitable to serve tiny outlets, yet Hostess was barred from using smaller, sleeker—and non-union—distributors.

Rayburn rescinded the raises making the brass work for a dollar a year apiece

Nov 26, 2012 9:41AM
The Company should have been ran better. Even with the Union they have seen to run it in to the ground. It is not the Union fault for a 82 yrar old company to be in this postion. Just like it said they still want to give the company people  money. What don't you people see this and quite getting on the UNION for this. It was the company not the Union for this. At lease the union  people had a BACK BONE. Better than some that I have read.
Nov 26, 2012 9:38AM
It's frustrating to see so many thick headed fools who fail to notice the obvious! Who's making all the money? The top executives who run these companies into the ground. NOT THE UNIONS! All of you anti-union fools are enjoying your working conditions, wages and possibly benefits thanks to the collective bargaining of UNIONS! Now I'm not saying that all union demands are warranted and should be granted, but that's why it's called bargaining. I just can't see how any rational minded worker would be willing to give up that right and support the incredible greed of the corporations today. So don't spit on the soldiers that fight for your rights as an American!!
Nov 26, 2012 9:32AM
This is the reason my next car will be a Toyota, non union and mostly American made..
Nov 26, 2012 9:11AM
Funny how the unionized socialist mentality of those that jump when the union (or communist party) boss tells them to jump, continue to blame the corporation and the CEO.  In a business, the higher up you go the more you make because you have more responibhility.  Just like why a quarterback in the NFL makes more than the linemen.  However, what you fail to pay attention to is the big pay, raises, and bonuses that your UNION THUG BOSSES are exacting from the rank and file.  Now, with Obama, the unions are trying to make American Citizens be required to join these communist and crooked organizations.  All the unions should be de-certified and they money returned to the workers.
Nov 26, 2012 9:03AM
As a former merchandiser of Hostess/Wonder, and knowing about the 2 bankruptcies in the last 3 years, and the latest strike this year, it makes one wonder just how good are the unions? It seems to me this one just got too greedy. So now, all of us laborers who got laid off,(who weren't with the union), want to "thank" those who didn't want to take that 8% cut just before the holidays. Just what were ya'll thinking? What a bunch of greedy dopes!!! You make as much as 3times as most, yet a silly 8% cut made you not want to work? I know alot of out of work folks who would have jumped at the chance to even just keep their job. Well,  I could rant about this and what was done all day, but I think it's " 'nuff said". Just one question....., if that bakery from Mexico buys the Twinkie, are we gonna have to call it a Hostess Bimbo?!?!?!?!?   
Nov 26, 2012 9:01AM
Unfortunately the UNION that broke the company will also still survive, but employees will pay with the loss of jobs.  Hopefully the new owners of the brands will not unionize.  The UAW ran GM out of my hometown years ago and now, in the city that use to have tens of thousands of GM employees, they have none.  Twenty plus factory plants idled and/or demolished.  Thanks Unions bosses, you protected your positions and jobs at the expense of the workers.
Nov 26, 2012 8:42AM

I cannot help but feel that the families of the 112 people who died in that foreign clothing factory wish that they had a union looking after their worker safety.  I haven't actually read the article, only the headline, but my imagination tells me that there were hundreds of people packed into a sweatshop with insufficient ventilation and not enough exits and fire fighting equipment. 


Unions do have a useful purpose and it is a shame that they are no better sometimes than the management they oppose in that they become greedy and corrupt just as easily.  The result is that everybody suffers when that happens and businesses like Hostess wind up closing.  Too bad.

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

123 rated 1
262 rated 2
480 rated 3
651 rated 4
649 rated 5
629 rated 6
616 rated 7
496 rated 8
346 rated 9
111 rated 10

Top Picks

TAT&T Inc9



Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.