Long Live Twinkies: Snack Brand Bought Up by Private Equity Firm (UPDATED)

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The world has been restored to its rightful order, folks. The snack-cake division of Hostess has accepted a buyer bid from Apollo Global Management Group and Metropoulos & Co. for $410 million. 

Hostess was to conduct an auction later this week for snack brands including Twinkies, CupCakes, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, however no competing bids were received by the deadline. Apollo, in partnership with veteran food executive Dean Metropoulos, has reportedly said that they are aiming to have the snack cakes back on shelves by summer, according to the Chicago Tribune.[more]

While the sale is good news for Hostess fans, the move does not bode well for Hostess’ 18,000 laid off workers. The New York Post reports that Apollo plans to outsource to third-party drivers and begin production in existing bakeries, not including the 33 shuttered Hostess factories. “Apollo will purchase and run some plants but will not look to hire all the laid off bakers,” the Post reports. 

Despite the ensued chaos that occured after the company declared bankruptcy back in November, things are looking up for the brand. Flower Foods has already swooped in to save Wonder Bread while a bid for the Drake’s snack cake division by McKee Foods was accepted Thursday, just a day before the scheduled March 15 auction, according to Food Business News. Similar to the Twinkies deal, no competing bids were submitted for the Drake’s brand—which includes Yodels, Devil Dogs and Yankee Doodles—by the March 12 deadline. McKee, which is the maker of the Little Debbie brand, offered $27.5 million for Drake’s. 

McKee did not reveal when it plans to have the snack cakes back on shelves, USA Today reports, however, Apollo and Metropoulos are wasting no time hatching a plan to relaunch some of Hostess’ most beloved snacks. C. Dean Metropoulos, head of the family-run firm, along with his two sons Daren and Evan, are looking to incorporate social media and guerilla marketing tactics in order to revive the brand. The firm, which owns Pabst Brewing and Vlasic Pickles, is no stranger to celebrity endorsements and ads. Daren Metropoulos told the Wall Street Journal’s Bankruptcy Beat that Zach Galifinakis (of The Hangover) “a fellow ‘greek guy’ and friend,” is one of the many celebrities on their list to promote the Hostess brand. 

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