Hostess tells strikers liquidation only hours away
by Josh Sosland
IRVING, TEXAS — Hostess Brands Inc. said today that it will file a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday to liquidate the entire company if enough striking employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., E.S.T., Thursday to enable the company to resume normal operations.
“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, chairman and chief executive officer of Hostess. “Therefore, if sufficient employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., E.S.T., on Thursday to restore normal operations, we will be forced to immediately move to liquidate the entire company, which will result in the loss of nearly 18,000 jobs. It is now up to Hostess’ B.C.T.G.M. represented employees and Frank Hurt, their international president, to decide if they want to call off the strike and save this company, or cause massive financial harm to thousands of employees and their families.”
Hostess said it has done “everything in its power” to pursue a reorganization of its business as a going concern. Those efforts have included nearly 18 months of negotiations with key constituents to obtain a consensual agreement, the company said.
If sufficient employees do not return to work by the deadline to restore normal operations, Hostess said the liquidation process will unfold as follows:
• Hostess will file a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, requesting to wind-down the company and sell all of its assets;
• Hostess has requested a hearing on the motion for Monday, Nov. 19, 2012;
• If the motion is granted at this hearing, Hostess will begin to close all of its operations as early as Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. The closings will include the termination of all employees except small, temporary crews to clean, secure and prepare facilities and other assets for sale.