KANSAS CITY — Apparently ending months of speculation with fresh rumors circulating as recently as today, Hostess Brands L.L.C. is not considering an initial public offering, the company’s chairman told Forbes.com.
“An i.p.o. is not on the table today,” Dean Metropoulos, chairman of Hostess, told Forbes. “A number of people lobbed in interest to buy Hostess. We considered a number of offers well above $2 billion, but we decided there was too much upside. We’ve run the company for only two years. Not taking Hostess to its full potential is an inappropriate thing to do.”
In media reports that surfaced earlier on July 7 via Reuters, people familiar with the matter indicated Hostess had turned down offers in recent weeks from other companies and private equity firms that valued it at between $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion, including debt. Instead, the people said Hostess now was planning to borrow money to pay a dividend to its owners, and would begin preparations in the coming months for an i.p.o. that the company believes would give it a higher valuation than the acquisition proposals it received.
But in an interview with Forbes, Mr. Metropoulos refuted the Reuters reports, saying there are no imminent plans for either a sale or an i.p.o.
“We have room for international growth and to create new products — we’ve introduced more new products this past year than many companies do in five years. That will continue. We’ll also look for brands to buy and build. We have a great platform for strategic and accretive acquisitions.”
Hostess Brands L.L.C. was acquired in 2013 by Apollo Global Management L.L.C. and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. for $410 million. Before Mr. Metropoulos’s comments on July 7, none of the parties involved had publicly commented on any of the negotiations, dating back to last November, when The New York Post first reported a possible sale was in the works.Among numerous major changes made at Hostess under the oversight of Mr. Metropoulos has been a conversion to a warehouse delivery model from direct-store-delivery. Hostess Brands is the largest manufacturer of snack cakes in the United States, and recently began expanding into the bread and roll market.