Can Latest Hostess Public Trading Buyout Save the Struggling Snack Cake Brand?

twinkieAmerica’s favorite snack cake has lost some popularity of late, thanks to the push towards healthier fare.  Indeed, more and more Americans are staying away from processed foods and sweet, shelf-stored desserts, putting long-time favorites like Twinkies and Ding Dongs under immense pressure.

As such, Hostess Brands is hoping that the new majority stake sale to the publicly traded affiliate of the Gores Group will help raise some money. Indeed, on Tuesday, the beloved snacking company announced they have agreed to this $725 million deal. If you want to trade in this stock try HSBC.

This will be the second such transaction for Hostess, a company which originally burst onto the scene in 1919 with the original Hostess CupCake (soon followed by the now-famously eternal Twinkie), since digging its way out of bankruptcy protection only three years ago.   Originally, they emerged under the control of Ripplewood Holdings LLDC, a buyout firm previously known as Interstate Bakeries Corp, which then changed its name to Hostess Brands, that year.

Since this time, though, the company has been under ownership of the investment firm Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Company; a company which previously owned the maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.  The pair paid as much as $410 million to acquire the Hostess name.

Both of these groups—Apollo and Metropoulos—are expected to remain as investors in this business, collectively owning about 42 percent of the combined company (which will carry the Hostess Brands name, of course).

“This new phase in Hostess’ evolution and partnership with the Gores Group and our broader investor partners will continue to propel Hostess into a growing and innovative company with significant reach and potential long into the future,” Mr. Metropoulos said in a statement.

The Gores Group is, in fact, a private equity firm. They are based in Los Angeles, CA and are known for forging deals across many industries.  For this sale, then, it appears that the Gores Holdings group—which is the publicly traded chapter of Gores Group, known as a “blank check” company—has so far raised $375 million in an initial public offerings just last year.

Similarly, Gores Group chairman and chief executive Alec Gores notes, “Hostess presents a unique opportunity to invest in an iconic brand with strong fundamentals that is poised for continued growth.”

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