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150 calories

Hostess, maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, says it will shut down

United States
Zachary M. Seward
By Zachary M. Seward

Chief executive officer

Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread, and other iconic American foodstuffs, just announced that it will liquidate the company after failing to reach an agreement with its striking factory workers. All of its factories are now closed, and its 18,500 workers will be laid off.

“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision,” CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said in a statement, “but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike.”

Hostess had warned it would shut down if the union, BCTGM International, didn’t end its strike. Union president Frank Hurt offered this summary of the 82-year-old company’s recent history:

For the past eight years management of the company has been in the hands of Wall Street investors, “restructuring experts”, third-tier managers from other non-baking food companies and currently a “liquidation specialist”.  Six CEO’s in eight years, none of whom with any bread and cake baking industry experience, was the prescription for failure.

Given the pop-culture status of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, it seems likely that Hostess would find a buyer for at least some of its brands in liquidation. Its other brands include Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Sno Balls and Donettes.

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