Last Updated:April 22 @ 05:53 pm

Hostess says it has over 100 interested buyers

By Candice Choi and Mae Anderson

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hostess Brands Inc. says it's in talks with more than 100 parties interested in buying its brands, which include Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.

Those interested parties now include at least five national retailers such as supermarkets, a banker for the company said in bankruptcy court Thursday. The process has been "so fast and furious" the company hasn't been able to make the calls seeking buyers it previously intended, said Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners.

"Not only are these buyers serious, but they are expecting to spend substantial sums," he said.

The update on the sale of the company's brands came as Hostess seeks approval in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y. to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million as part of its wind-down plans. The company says the incentive pay is needed to retain the 19 corporate officers and "high-level managers" during the liquidation process, which could take about a year.

Two of those executives would be eligible for additional rewards depending on how efficiently they carry out the liquidation. The bonuses would be in addition to their regular pay.

The bonuses do not include pay for CEO Gregory Rayburn, who was brought on as a restructuring expert earlier this year. Rayburn is being paid $125,000 a month.

Hostess is also seeking final approval for its wind-down, which was approved on an interim basis last week.

The bakers union, Hostess' second-largest union, is asking the judge to appoint an independent trustee to oversee the liquidation, saying that the current management "has been woefully unsuccessful in its reorganization attempts."

The wind-down process includes the quick sale of Hostess brands, which also include CupCakes, Donettes and Wonder Bread. Hostess had already said last week that it received a flood of interest from potential buyers, including from national packaged food makers, international companies and its own customers, which include supermarkets and big-box retailers. Hostess sales have been declining over the years, but still come in at between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion a year, a banker for the company said in court last week.

The company's shuttering means loss of about 18,000 jobs.

In court Thursday, an attorney for Hostess noted that the company is no longer able to pay retiree benefits, which come to about $1.1 million a month. Hostess stopped contributing to its union pension plans more than a year ago.

The company's demise came after years of management turmoil, with workers saying the company failed to invest in updating its products. In January, Hostess filed for its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than a decade, citing steep costs associated with its unionized work force.

Although Hostess was able to reach a new contract agreement with its largest union, the Teamsters, the bakers union rejected the terms and went on strike Nov. 9. A week later, Hostess announced its plans to liquidate, saying the strike crippled its ability to maintain normal production.

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Hostess says it has over 100 interested buyers, 8.3 out of 10 based on 32 ratings

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  1. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    November 29, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    is the federal gubment one of those buyers?

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    Rating: 4.0/5 (13 votes cast)
    • Jota_Comment by Jota_
      November 30, 2012 @ 12:33 am

      Ho Ho, Twinkies, Ding Dongs

      How can they not!

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      Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  2. wedeyComment by wedey
    November 29, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    The only way they should buy this company if workers agree to be non-union. They don’t need to buy a company and have it all start over again.

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    Rating: 4.3/5 (30 votes cast)
  3. fubar22Comment by fubar22
    November 29, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    Hostess Bakery plants shut down Friday due to a workers’ strike. 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.

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    Rating: 4.8/5 (63 votes cast)
    • DudleyComment by Dudley
      November 29, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

      Now that’s funny I don’t care who you are.

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      Rating: 3.9/5 (15 votes cast)
    • clarkentComment by clarkent
      November 29, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

      That’s better than jokes that Leno or Letterman tell.

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      Rating: 4.5/5 (8 votes cast)
  4. popstComment by popst
    November 29, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    Maybe George Soros should buy Hostess. He supports the workers striking at Wal-Mart. Let him and the Warehouse Union put up their money. It will never happen.

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (20 votes cast)
  5. wolverineComment by wolverine
    November 29, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    This is what happens when union pigs bite the hand that feeds them.
    They go to slautter. And the union reps will still be getting their pay checks. And the stupid rank and file have lost their jobs. Merry Christmas. Shmucks.

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (20 votes cast)
  6. thomasjeffersonComment by thomasjefferson
    November 29, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    At least sell it to an American company.

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    Rating: 3.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  7. wolverineComment by wolverine
    November 29, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    Amen to that brother

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    Rating: 3.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  8. shafe9900Comment by shafe9900
    November 29, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

    It looks like Hostess is just selling the brands immediately.
    The actual plants will probably take years to sell. Who ever buys the brands will just start manufacturing them at their own current facilities.

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (11 votes cast)
  9. wbrianiiiComment by Weaver Brian
    November 29, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

    Not the first time I’ve watched union workers price themselves right out of a job.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (12 votes cast)
    • bobvansComment by bobvans
      November 29, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

      And they didnt care… Rather collect unemployment then give concessions.

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      Rating: 4.6/5 (11 votes cast)
  10. truckmanComment by truckman
    November 29, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    Yeah,Weaver-brilliant move,eh? Unions had their time and place,but when their own management’s pay takes precedence over the workers’ best interests,and when the Union is willing to let the workers lose their jobs to win a pi$$ing contest with management,it’s time for the Unions to go.

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (8 votes cast)
  11. westinComment by westin
    November 29, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    Twinkies 1 Unions 0

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    Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)
  12. drillbabydrillComment by drillbabydrill
    December 1, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    The next owners won’t have to pay “union wages” or provide all the other perks the leeches demand,so maybe they’ll give us a break and nock the price of these treats down a little!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

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