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Hostess is close to celebrating success as a handful of their popular snack brands, including Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Sno Balls, have been sold to two different investment firms. New owners predict that the favorite treats will be back on the shelves in the summer months.
The new owners are Metropoulous & Company and Apollo Global Management, who together paid $410 million for the cakes, five bakeries and some equipment. Hostess canceled further bidding, convinced that no one else could match the price Metropoulous and Apollo offered.
Metropoulos & Company is led by chief executive C. Dean Metropoulos and his sons, Daren and Evan. Metropoulos has had success with turning around Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2010, a beer more commonly known as P.B.R. With a net worth of $1.2 billion, the company is confident in renewing the success of Twinkies.
“Our family is thrilled to have the opportunity to reestablish these iconic brands with new creative marketing ideas and renewed sales efforts and investment,” Daren said in an email to Reuters on Tuesday. The sale has not yet completed, still needing further approval from judges, but it is expected to be done early next month.
Hostess was already struggling under chapter 11 bankruptcy for several years. The combination of unhealthy foods and the attempt at cutting costs ruined the business, and employees on strike due to high labor and pension expenses finished the deal. Hostess shut down when an agreement with workers couldn’t be reached, laying off thousands of workers.
According to Atlantic Wire, those workers probably won’t get their jobs back, due to the intent to “outsource delivery services and only use existing bakeries for production.”
Selling the revamped food will require new strategies. Apollo and Metropoulous do not plan to rely on union workers as the previous owners did. “We look forward to discussing opportunities for our members with new ownership, and add value to the revival of these products,” the President of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, David Durkee, said.
They plan to sell to smaller chain stores, such as Dollar General, in addition to grocery stores. They also plan “healthier” options; following competitor strategies like Tastykake’s, the owners are planning 100-calorie snack packs and healthier ingredients. Metropoulous even expects sales through personal Twitter advocates like Will Ferrell (who has worked as a spokesman for Pabst before) and Zack Galifianakis, who may become a spokesman.
Fans of the snack cakes will see their favorite items return for sale in the summer months. Ebay still reports attempted sales of up to $250,000 for two boxes just last week, and the bids are selling.
Hostess is selling more products to other bidders, like the popular Wonder Bread and other snack cake names. Others, such as Drake’s or Sweetheart, are set for auction on Friday. Grupo Bimbo, owner of Entenmanns and Sara Lee, paid $31.9 million for Beefsteak bread.