Private equity firms unopposed in bid for Hostess snack cake businesses

by Eric Schroeder
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — An auction that would have taken place tomorrow has been cancelled after Irving, Texas-based Hostess Brands, Inc. said no competing bids were received for its Hostess and Dolly Madison snack cake business.

A $410 million offer from HB Holdings L.L.C., an affiliate of private equity groups Apollo Global Management L.L.C. and Metropoulos & Co., was the only qualified bid received by the 5 p.m. EST deadline yesterday.

Brands included under the agreement include Twinkies, Mini Muffins, Cup Cakes, Ho Hos, Zingers and Suzy Q’s. The acquisition includes the purchase of more than 300 recipes sold under the brand names.

Five plants to be acquired in the transaction are located in Los Angeles; Columbus, Ga.; Schiller Park, Ill.; Indianapolis; and Emporia, Kas. HB Holdings also would acquire depots in Kansas City, Schiller Park and Los Angeles.

Office buildings that are part of the deal include the longtime headquarters of Interstate Brands Corp. in Kansas City. Headquarters for the business were moved to Irving, Texas, in 2009 when Interstate emerged from its first bankruptcy and changed its corporate name to Hostess Brands.

Excluded in the transaction would be the Drake’s business, covered in a separate transaction.

A sale hearing to approve the bid is set for March 19.

Hostess later today will find out whether qualified bids for the Drake’s brand and Northwest Bakeries business assets will hold up, or whether other bids will be submitted to force an auction on March 15. MBN

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