Report: Walmart, Kroger Among Bidders for Hostess Brands
(NEW YORK) — Who’s looking to snatch up Hostess Brands following the company’s plans to liquidate? According to Bloomberg, Walmart and Kroger are among the two dozen bidders interested in the maker of Twinkies, Ho Hos and Wonder Bread.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports the two companies, along with Grupo Bimbo and Alpha Baking, have placed bids on Hostess’ assets.
The source says some of the bids are for all of the assets, while others are just for the cakes or breads businesses. Some bidders, meanwhile, are only seeking to acquire Hostess’ plants.
Should the liquidation sale go through, it could generate $1 billion for Hostess’ creditors.
The company decided to move forward with its liquidation plans last month after it failed to reach a new labor agreement with its bakery workers.
The bakers union went on strike on Nov. 9, when the company imposed a contract that would cut workers’ wages by 8 percent. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) said the contract would also cut benefits by 27 to 32 percent.
Days later, Hostess announced it would be liquidating the entire company because not enough striking employees had returned to work by a deadline the company had set.
“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn said in a statement on Nov. 16. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
Hostess, which is privately owned by two hedge funds, has struggled in recent years with two bankruptcy filings.
A federal judge had pushed Hostess and its workers to reach an agreement with the help of a mediator to avoid liquidation, but when that failed, the company moved forward with its plans to wind down operations.
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