An Iconic Snack-Maker Sells

JM Smucker picks up a new acquisition, Twinkies maker Hostess, for $5.6B
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 11, 2023 11:02 AM CDT
Twinkies Maker Hostess Sells in $5.6B Deal
A Hostess sign is shown in Garland, Texas, on Jan. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, file)

Hostess, the maker of snack classics like Twinkies and HoHos, is being sold to JM Smucker in a deal worth about $5.6 billion, reports the AP. Smucker, which makes everything from coffee to peanut butter and jelly, will pay $34.25 per share in cash and stock, and it will also pick up approximately $900 million in net debt. In addition to Twinkies, Hostess makes CupCakes, DingDongs, Zingers, and Voortman cookies. Hostess Brands struggled for years and nearly vanished before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in early 2012. Workers blamed the troubles on years of mismanagement and a failure to invest in brands to keep up with changing tastes.

The company based in Lenexa, Kansas, said at the time that it was weighed down by higher pension and medical costs than its competitors, whose employees weren't unionized. In unwinding its business, Hostess, which was founded in 1925, sold off its brands in chunks to different buyers. Its major bread brands, including Wonder, were sold to Flowers Foods, which makes Tastykakes. McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, snapped up Drake's Cake, which includes the Devil Dogs and Yodels brands. Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management bought Twinkies and other Hostess cakes for $410 million.

Apollo, founded by Leon Black, is known for buying troubled brands, then selling them for a profit; its investments include fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. Metropoulos & Co., which has revamped then sold off brands including Chef Boyardee and Bumble Bee, also owns Pabst Brewing Co. Hostess reemerged in 2013 with a far less costly operating structure than its predecessor company and was no longer unionized. (More Hostess stories.)

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