Reuters: Hostess talking to dozens of interested parties

(Reuters) – Hostess Brands Inc has received a “flood of inquiries” from a range of parties interested in buying several of its brands, the snack cake maker’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

At a hearing in the U.S. bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, the lawyer Heather Lennox of Jones Day said Hostess expects to find “stalking horse” bidders for some brands within a few weeks, with court-supervised auctions to follow.

Joshua Scherer, a partner at Perella Weinberg Partners which is advising Hostess, said the company was in “active dialogue” over the Drake’s brand with one “very interested” party, which had taken a three-hour tour of a New Jersey plant on Tuesday.

Scherer did not identify the party by name, but said interested entities included regional bakery companies, national competitors, retail customers, private equity firms and consumer products companies.

Earlier this year, Hostess received six bids for the whole company, Scherer said, but “none of them was actionable.”

Beginning in the summer, a sale process was begun, he said, to see whether individual brands could be sold to raise funds to help exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

But in the last couple of days, since Hostess said it planned to liquidate, it has received over two dozen inbound calls, Scherer said, adding that more than 50 parties have signed non-disclosure agreements.

As for the value of Hostess, Scherer said Hostess could be worth $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion in a normal bankruptcy, an amount equal to its annual revenue. But he said he would expect a discount in this case since plants have already been closed.

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