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Published: Tuesday, 4/30/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Hostess to reopen Illinois, Indiana bakeries

BLADE STAFF

Some former Hostess bakeries are getting ready to reopen, but the one in suburban Toledo will have to wait a little longer.

Hostess Brands LLC said Monday that it will open bakeries in Indiana and Illinois, following announcements last week that it will reopen bakeries in Georgia and Kansas in its effort to bring back some of its snack brands.

The predecessor to Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 after years of turmoil and later decided to go out of business after a nationwide strike crippled its operations.

Private equity groups Apollo Global Management and Metropolis & Co. — now doing business as Hostess Brands — paid $410 million to buy the Hostess and Dolly Madison snack cake lines as well as five plants during the company’s liquidation process.

The investment firms are now trying to revive operations in order to get Twinkies, Ho Hos, and other popular snack cakes back on shelves by the end of July.

A different company, Georgia-based Flower Foods LLC, bought the former Hostess bakery in Northwood — and 19 other bakeries — as part of a deal for the Wonderbread brand and five other bread brands. Flower Foods already had its own bread brands, including Nature’s Own and Cobblestone Mill. So unlike the Apollo/Metropolis deal, the Flower Foods deal is subject to antitrust approval.

The timetable for reopening the Northwood facility is uncertain.

A total of 160 workers who were members of the Bakery, Confectioners, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International union were employed at the Northwood plant and lost their jobs when Hostess closed last fall.

Hostess is trying to combat the perception that the company is anti-union. It said in a statement Monday that Hostess respects union rights and will not discriminate on the basis of union membership or union activities and would respect associated legal obligations.



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