Owner of Pabst Blue Ribbon in deal to buy Twinkies

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Pabst Blue Ribbon and Twinkies

Two of the most iconic and least nutritious symbols of American consumerism may be about to join in commercial wedlock.

A deal is near for two private-equity shops to buy Twinkie and other cake brands from Hostess, the American baker that declared bankruptcy last fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. The buyers are Apollo Global Management, the giant buyout firm, and C. Dean Metropoulos, best known for owning Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Pabst and Twinkies both enjoy loyal customers, who value low-cost and low-fuss snacks, and ironic followers, who see the brands as the edible equivalent of trucker hats. In that sense, Twinkies and PBR may be the quintessential American lunch.

Metropoulos had eyed Hostess’s cake business since the company went into liquidation in November. “We have analyzed this opportunity very carefully for a few years now,” the firm’s eponymous founder told Bloomberg at the time. “Shedding the complications of the unions and old plants makes it even more attractive.” A struggle with the union for Hostess bakers instigated the bankruptcy, though the company suffered from mismanagement for years before that.

Hostess has been methodically selling off parts of its business, including its other iconic brand, Wonder Bread, which is going to Flowers Foods, owner of Nature’s Own. The Journal’s report today says that Apollo and Metropoulos are offering more than $400 million for Twinkie and Hostess’s other cake brands, which include Ding Dong and Ho Hos.