The union and pension fund for Hostess Brands hired Gordian Group to help keep jobs and workers’ benefits at the bankrupt maker of Twinkies snack cakes as the company negotiates with buyers. Gordian Group is an investment bank that specializes in distressed cases.
Gordian has no institutional loyalties to funds or bondholders in Hostess. It will provide conflict-free advice for the good of the company’s workers. This is according to the Bakery and Confectionery Union and the Industry International Pension Fund (Bakers Fund).
Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo and a partnership between veteran food executive C. Dean Metropoulos and Apollo Global Management are the leading candidates to buy Hostess Brands Inc.’s snack cake brands. This is according to people familiar with the deal.
Hostess announced earlier this month that Flowers Foods agreed to pay $390 million for Hostess’ Wonder and other bread brands, which include Nature’s Pride and Butternut. The deal was still subject to a court-supervised auction.
The Bakers Fund said that it wanted to hold direct discussions with the bidders for Hostess and picked Gordian to advise it on the basis of the investment bank’s track record when it comes to distressed financial situations.
Hostess is the maker of Ding Dongs and Twinkies. It is expected to announce by January 25 a stalking horse bidder that would set a baseline for an auction and guarantee a buyer. The sale, which would earn at least $400 million, is part of the company’s bankruptcy reorganization. Hostess decided to file for bankruptcy and liquidate after a strike by its bakers’ union crippled its operation.
Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread maker, already has a large presence in the United States with Entenmann’s baked goods, Sara Lee bread and Thomas’ English Muffins. It made a bid for Hostess’ bread business but was outbid by Flowers in the race to be the first bidder.