WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Hostess Brands, Inc. received final approval today for its wind-down plan from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. The move paves the way for the Irving, Texas-based baker to wind down operations at 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes, 570 bakery outlet stores and the loss of 18,500 jobs.
According to the Associated Press, a financial adviser told the court today that Hostess, which suspended bakery operations at all plants on Nov. 16, has been in talks with 110 potential buyers for its brands.
“Not only are these buyers serious, but they are expecting to spend substantial sums,” said Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners.
Although not mentioned by name by Mr. Scherer, companies that have been rumored to be in the mix for Hostess assets include Flowers Foods, Inc.; Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V.; McKee Foods Corp.; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Sun Capital Partners, Inc.; C. Dean Metropoulos & Co.; and Hurst Capital LLLP.
In a Nov. 16 filing, Hostess said it hopes to complete the wind down and sale of its assets in approximately one year.
The filing said the “desired outcome” of the wind down would be to sell groups of assets that could then be operated as an ongoing concern. Doing so would result in the buyer assuming as many of the related administrative expenses and other claims as possible.
Plans already have been put in place by Hostess for 13 “wind-down periods,” which would span the entire one-year projected duration of the wind down, but operational and other cost projections only have been finalized for the first 13 weeks, the company said.