Twinkies to be back on store shelves by summer

March 13, 2013

According to The New York Times, Hostess Brands agreed on March 12 to sell its snacks, including Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Dolly Madison Zingers, to two investment firms with a shared history of corporate turnarounds. The deal, worth $410 million, was struck nearly four months after the last Twinkie rolled off the baking lines.

The new owners will be Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., which owns Pabst Blue Ribbon and Vlasic pickles. C. Dean Metropoulos, the food industry veteran who leads the firm that bears his name, is expected to become the Chief Executive of the snack business. Apollo and Metropoulos emerged from a seemingly crowded field of bankruptcy bidders for the brands. At one point, more than 100 parties had expressed interest in Twinkies, a group that included international food giants and private equity firms. But by 5 p.m. March 11, the deadline for bids, the only qualified offer came from Apollo and Metropoulos. Advisers to Hostess canceled an auction scheduled for March 13 and declared the two the winner.

The sale will mean that Twinkies, born more than 83 years ago in an Illinois industrial kitchen, will live on, having survived wars, recessions, and various diet trends. The deal includes five Hostess factories, which the buyers hope to restart so to begin restocking store shelves by the summer. And the new company will almost certainly feature the Hostess name. The business’ new owners have hinted that Twinkies might find a home in a broader array of stores, including discount retailers like Dollar General. Healthier options, like 100-calorie snack packs, are also expected to make an appearance.

The sale is not done yet. It requires the approval of the federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the Chapter 11 case. A hearing has been tentatively scheduled for March 19. Hostess is still selling its other remaining brands, including Drake’s snack cakes. Those auctions are expected to conclude by early next month.

The New York Times article