by LawInc Staff
July 13, 2015
Hostess Brands, the iconic Kansas-backed bakery company known for sweet delights such as Twinkies, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs went bankrupt in 2012 after planning to cut more than 18,000 jobs after a nationwide strike.
Then, in 2013, Hostess Brands was bought for $410 million in a partnership between private-equity firm Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management and billionaire C. Dean Metropoulous.
Now, the company is resurging. According to Reuters, the company has spurned recent offers from private equity firms valuing the bakery giant at between 2.4 and 2.5 billion.
Moreover, the company is allegedly preparing for an IPO that will give it a higher valuation than the acquisition proposals the company has been receiving.
Mr. Metropoulous, however, has stated that it is too early to consider a sale or IPO. He notes, “We feel that we’re just two years into this wonderful turnaround of this company, and that there’s a lot of potential growth to consider.”
Mr. Metropoulous is a 68-year old investor known as “Mr. Shelf Space” because of his ability to revive many common brands found in American grocery stores including Bumble Bee, Ghiardelli, and Duncan Hines. He is one of America’s richest men, having accrued a net worth of more than 2.1 billion.
Known for his turnaround playbook, Mr. Metropoulous buys up well-known brands that he claims have lost their “mojo,” reenergizes them with new packaging or a high-profile ad campaign, sells the newly hyped brand for a handsome profit, and repeats the entire process.
For Hostess Brands, Mr. Metropoulous’ plan has included slashing jobs and costs, investing in automation, and reopening the company’s flagship bakery and plant in Emporia, Kansas after $30 million in upgrades and expansions.
Emporia will also be home to the third annual Twinkies Festival on July 18, which will include a Twinkies eating contest, among other contests.
Mr. Metropoulous has also spent a great amount on a marketing campaigns dubbing Twinkies’ return “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.” This campaign includes the use of social media celebrating the nostalgia that comes with these deep-fried treats.
— Hostess Snacks (@Hostess_Snacks) July 15, 2013
Hostess Brands was founded in Kansas City in 1930 and was then known as “Interstate Bakeries Corporation,” a wholesale baker and distributer.
Twinkies have been selling since the 1930s, though Hostess’ 2012 bankruptcy came about due to expensive wage and pension burdens as well as heavy levels of debt.
However, now, the Emporia bakery creates more than a million Twinkies a day, doing 80% of the work that was once done by 9,000 workers in 14 plants.