Hostess Brands to go public again under new ownership

Four years after it sought bankruptcy protection, Kansas City-based Hostess Brands will become a publicly traded company again, the Associated Press reports.

Hostess Brands’ latest owners, private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., will sell the majority of the company, valued at $2.3 billion. The company has been shuffled between owners since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time in July 2012.

Its new owner, Gores Holdings, will put up $375 million in cash. Apollo and Metropoulos will hold a 42 percent combined stake when the deal is finished.

Gores CEO Alec Gores and Dean Metropoulos, among others, have committed an additional $350 million. Metropoulos will continue to serve as Hostess Brands’ executive chairman, and CEO William Toler will remain in his position as well.

Founded in 1919 with the introduction of the Hostess CupCake, the company has cut costs in recent years, increasing automation. In 2015, Hostess announced plans to close the Chicago-area bakery where the Twinkie was invented, eliminating 400 jobs.

The company currently operates bakeries in Columbus, Ga.; Emporia, Kan., and Indianapolis. The credit rating for Hostess has improved, and last year the company posted revenue of around $650 million.

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