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Sarasota Firm Intends To Bid For Hostess, Twinkies Brands

Sarasota investment firm is the latest corporation lining up to save Twinkies from extinction.

Updated 4 p.m. Nov. 19

A Sarasota company may be to thank for saving Twinkies.

Hurst Capital, LLLP on Monday filed a letter of intent to acquire the assets of Hostess Brands Inc. with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York becoming the latest company to step forward to save Twinkies from extinction.

"Hostess has over the past 80 years created several of the most recognizable and powerful brands in the United States,” said Hurst Capital, LLLP Managing General Partner Austin Hurst in a statement. "They have undeniable value and when combined with the other existing assets of the company represent a compelling acquisition opportunity."

Hostess Brands, the bankrupt baker of iconic consumer brands including Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Wonder bread, had been in business for 82 years and filed a motion Monday morning seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, according to the company.

Locally, Wonder bread has a partner outlet store at 1073 Tallevast Road in Sarasota at the Merita Discount Bakery Store.

Hurst is the latest company that is poised to enter in a bidding war for the snack food company. Over the weekend C. Dean Metropoulos and Co, the capital firm that owns Pabst Brewing, announced its intentions to buy Hostess brands, The Huffington Post reported.

Mexico's Grupo Bimbo also announced its interest to bid for Ho Hos and more, Fox News Latino reported.

Hurst recognizes the up-hill battle they face of not having the capital individually to acquire the brands and other issues, The Herald-Tribune reports:

"It's true, we don't have any experience in consumer brands," Austin Hurst, Hurst Capital's managing general partner, said Monday. "And this would be the biggest deal we've ever done."

Hurst Capital’s letter of intent details their multimillion dollar offer to acquire all the assets of Hostess Brands, including property, cash, cash equivalents, intellectual property, brands, websites, URL’s, furniture, fixtures, equipment, signage, supplies, small wares, contracts, licenses, permits, computer software and hardware, telephone numbers, leases, franchise agreements and vehicles.

Hostess Brands management announced last week that they would liquidate the company, sell all assets and lay off 18,500 employees after striking workers protesting a bankruptcy-court imposed labor contract failed to return to work.

Hurst Capital, LLLP General Partner Zach Hurst said that “I believe there are some interesting things we can do with technology and social media to advance Hostess Brands to the next level in the consumer packaged goods industry.” 

Hurst Capital works very closely with their portfolio companies and actively applies a multi-faceted business development program including funding, facilitation, advisory and consultative capacities.

Hurst has a history of investing in a few local start-ups that failed, The Herald-Tribune also reported:

"Hurst had invested in Savtira, a firm created by Timothy M. Roberts — who also founded the now defunct Infinium Labs in Sarasota — after it pledged exclusive rights to use a digital store platform Savtira was developing.

But after investing $300,000, Hurst contends Savtira failed to live up to their agreement. The two sides continue to fight each other in court."

Potential portfolio companies are evaluated based on private criteria and a standardized due diligence process.

Mike Manna, Hurst Capital, LLLP Director of Investment Performance, commented that “with a skilled team of turnaround specialists, we can build upon the Company’s history to levitate Hostess into a century year old brand.”

Charles Schelle (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Which company do you think has the better chance of winning a bid for Hostess/Twinkies so far? That Connecticut firm that owns Pabst Brewing makes quite the beer-snack cake combo there.
R Clark November 19, 2012 at 08:32 PM
I think Grupo Bimbo has the best opportunity to acquire and make the brands successful again. Unfortunately, most of the production would have to be moved to their existing facilities in Mexico due to the sugar tariffs in the U.S. which destroy the ability of large sugar users to be competitive. Grupo Bimbo previously made a bid to acquire Hostess. Sadly, that would make Hostess products an import, but a profitable venture for Bimbo to sell alongside their other staple brands in already established distribution channels. Not good for the Hostess employees, but one union made this eventuality a reality.
bob k November 20, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Nice of you all to give these young men space. But their chance in putting together such a deal is next to zero, so I'm not sure why they got so much press......or maybe they know somebody at the "trib"
Jim Thykeson November 22, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Hey Bob K, these young guys are getting the press cause their local! This is a case of an 'ant going up the elephants leg' with bad intentions, and yes, they don't have a chance, but give the local guys their place in the sun...if not for a little while.

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