Friday, November 16, 2012

Life As We Know It Has Changed Forever: 'Twinkie' Maker Hostess Is Liquidating

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

I have so many emotions, people. What on earth are mothers going to put in their childrens' lunches? What else will we compare to the longevity of Dick Clark and Cher? How will we be able to explain Woody Harrelson's spectacular turn as a Twinkie addict in Zombieland?

I'm astounded and terrified of this world that we will soon live in—therefore, the San Francisco Chronicle, has more for you here:

Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of iconic childhood treats including Ding Dongs, Wonder Bread and Drakes, is winding down its operations after struggling to keep up with rising labor costs and the ever-changing tastes of Americans, who have grown accustomed to a dizzying array of new snacks flooding supermarket aisles every year.

The company, whose roster of brands date as far back as 1888, filed a motion to liquidate Friday with U.S. Bankruptcy Court after striking workers across the country crippled its ability to maintain production.

Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn said in an interview that there was no buyer waiting in the wings to rescue the company. But without giving details, he said that there has been interest in some of its 30 brands, which include Dolly Madison and Nature's Pride snacks. Experts agreed that it was likely the biggest brands would survive.

...

The shuttering of Hostess means the loss of about 18,500 jobs. Hostess said employees at its 33 factories were sent home and operations suspended Friday. Its roughly 500 bakery outlet stores will stay open for several days to sell remaining products.

But lo! There is still hope: So says the New York Times' DealBook Blog.

First of all, filing a motion is not the same thing has having the court grant it, which is not the same thing as actually implementing the relief requested in the motion.

And there is always a chance that the unions and Hostess (and its private equity backers) will reach a deal before the plug is pulled.

More broadly, there is a good chance we will see the Hostess brands again.

If the debtor does liquidate, that will include the sale of Hostess’s intellectual property, including trademarks like Twinkie.

One could easily imagine some other snack maker, or an outside investor, would be quite willing to acquire the rights to make Twinkies, Ding Dongs and those curious “pies” with all the white frosty stuff on the outside.

Seriously, those snack pies are creepy. But we can all breathe a bit easier, Twinkie loving friends—so long as we're patient.

And if worse comes to worse during your Twinkie rush, you can always buy some on eBay. $60 isn't that much, right?

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