Hostess inches closer to Emporia expansion

by Eric Schroeder
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EMPORIA, KAS. — The Emporia City Commission on Feb. 5 approved tax abatement incentives for Hostess Brands L.L.C., setting the stage for the Kansas City-based snack cakes maker to expand its plant in Emporia.

Hostess submitted its expansion plans to the board of directors of the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas, who in turn presented its recommendations for the project to the Emporia City Commission on Dec. 11, 2013. The Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas board of directors approved the agreement on Jan. 10.

When the expansion plans first were announced in December, Richard Seban, president of Hostess Brands, called Emporia “an important facility for Hostess.”

“We are very appreciative of the ongoing support of the local authorities, and we are delighted to be making additional investments in this great community,” he said. “The expansion and upgrades will enable Hostess to increase production capacity for our iconic snack cakes and enhance overall efficiencies as we move forward.”

Mr. Seban said plans call for the addition of an approximately 36,000-square-foot warehouse building, the installation of a new Auto-Bake production line, and additional equipment upgrades and purchases. The total investment is expected to exceed $30 million, he said, and an additional 50 full-time employees will be hired.

The total investment in the warehouse building is expected to be $3.5 million, while $24 million will go toward adding equipment, $2.5 million toward leasehold improvements and $1.575 million toward payroll.

No timeline has been given for when the expansion will begin.

The Emporia plant was one of four acquired by Apollo Global Management L.L.C. and Metropoulos & Co. earlier this year as part of a purchase of selected Hostess assets. The other plants are in Columbus, Ga.; Schiller Park, Ill.; and Indianapolis.
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