Hostess going public after bouncing back from bankruptcy

Could you imagine a world without the Twinkie?

Neither could we.

Just four years after laying off thousands of workers and announcing it was going out of business, Hostess Brands LLC (maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other beloved packaged cakes) is preparing to go public.

Hostess Brands, which first emerged in 1919 with the Hostess CupCake, has been shuffled between different owners since it sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time in July 2012.

The latest owners, the Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., will sell the majority of company that is valued at about $2.3 billion. The new owners, Gores Holdings, an acquisition company run by a private equity firm, will put up $375 million in cash, the companies said Tuesday. Gores CEO Alec Gores, Dean Metropoulos and others have committed an additional $350 million.

Hostess snacks through the ages

Today, the company is much smaller—with far fewer employees—and those factory workers are no longer represented by a union. The company has also heavily increased automated production Last year, the company announced plans to shutter the suburban Chicago bakery where the Twinkie was invented and 400 jobs evaporated.

Hostess is based in Kansas City, Missouri. Today it operates baking facilities in Emporia, Kansas, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Georgia.

It was feared by many that Twinkies, which debuted in 1930s and became a staple in school lunchboxes, would become a fading piece of Americana when Hostess declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Those fears were premature and now the company even has a few new treats up its sleeve.

In June, Hostess rolled out a Key Lime Slime Twinkie—yellow cake filled with neon green frosting—just in time for the revamped “Ghostbusters” movie out July 15. And later this summer, the company will debut a pre-packaged Deep Fried Twinkie exclusively at Walmart. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.