FORTUNE -- There are multiple reports that Hostess has picked Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos as the "stalking horse" bidder for most of its snack unit, which would include Twinkies.
Word is that the firms were expecting formal notification last night, but that they're still confident it's on its way. For the uninitiated, "stalking horse" bids in bankruptcy procedures officially are just the floor that rival bidders must top but, from a practical perspective, the "stalking horse" usually gets its company.
We'll learn more about the specifics when Hostess files in court, but my gut reaction is that Apollo's involvement is odd. The firm has never before done a private equity deal in the packaged foods sector, despite having dipped a toe in almost everything else. It does have a bit of exposure to the space via British biscuit maker Burton's Foods, but that came through its credit practice.
Maybe the idea here is that Apollo is the muscle (read: cash) and C. Dean Metropoulos is the brains (read: industry know-how).
Metropoulos is best-known for capitalizing on the beer pong market a few years back by buying Pabst Blue Ribbon, but it also has been involved with helping turn around such iconic American food brands as Chef Boyardee, Bumble Bee seafood and Aunt Jemima. Chances are it would be able to work its magic again with Hostess Snacks, particularly if it can outsource much of the production and delivery (since outdated equipment was arguably a more severe problem at Hostess than were union pension obligations).
An Apollo spokesman declined to comment.
Hostess can blame private equity, but not private equity greed.
FORTUNE -- The fall of Hostess has many fathers. Some were internal, like dunderheaded management and an obstinate baker's union. Some were external, like the unholy marriage of global recession with rising commodities prices.
But here's one thing that Hostess isn't: "A microcosm of what's wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor."
That line came Friday MOREDan Primack - Nov 19, 2012 3:59 PM ET
Hostess may have a buyer.
FORTUNE -- Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners wants to buy bankrupt bakery Hostess Brands Inc., Fortune has learned.
The proposal would be to operate Hostess as a going concern, including reopening the shuttered factories and continuing union representation of Hostess workers.
Sun Capital privately expressed interest in acquiring Hostess earlier this year, but the bakery's creditors chose for an alternate reorganization plan that ultimately failed. Following Friday's MOREDan Primack - Nov 19, 2012 12:43 PM ET
Someone will buy America's favorite indestructible snack.
FORTUNE -- Twinkies are going to be around for a long time to come. And not just because they're the foodstuff of choice for the zombie apocalypse.
Yes, Hostess Brands today began liquidation. Yes, all of the bakers lost their jobs (they weren't willing to make a deal). So did the delivery truck drivers (they were). And it's true that the last batches of Hostess MOREDan Primack - Nov 16, 2012 11:51 AM ET
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