Hostess moves to liquidate after crippling strike

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Hostess says it's going out of business -- but some of its products may continue to be sold. The company's CEO says he's hoping to find a buyer for about 30 Hostess brands.

Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, had warned employees it would move to shut down its operations and sell its brands if striking workers didn't allow plants to resume normal operations by yesterday evening. The deadline passed without a deal. Thousands of union members went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits.

CEO Greg Rayburn says there's no buyer waiting in the wings to rescue the company, but that there's been interest in some of its 30 brands, which include Dolly Madison and Nature's Pride snacks.

Hostess was hurt by a consumer shift toward more wholesome, fresh products. And it was saddled with high pension, wage and medical costs related to its unionized workforce. Rayburn said the company was operating on thin margins, and that the strike was a final blow.

The closing will mean the loss of about 18,500 jobs

The company's roughly 500 bakery outlet stores will stay open for several days to sell remaining products.

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240-a-08-(Gregory Rayburn, CEO, Hostess Brands, in interview)-"around for everyone"-Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn says talks could not resolve a crippling strike. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (16 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *240 (11/16/12)>> 00:08 "around for everyone"

239-a-09-(Gregory Rayburn, CEO, Hostess Brands, in interview)-"from other companies"-Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn says the company reached deals with a number of its unions, but not with the bakers. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (16 Nov 2012)

<<CUT *239 (11/16/12)>> 00:09 "from other companies"

APPHOTO NY113: FILE - A Hostess Twinkies sign is shown at the Utah Hostess plant in Ogden, Utah, in this Nov. 15, 2012 file photo. Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, announced Friday Nov. 16, 2012 it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (15 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO NY113 (11/15/12)>>

APPHOTO UTRB108: People are shown standing in the parking lot at the Utah Hostess plant in Ogden, Utah, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. Hostess Brands Inc. said it likely won't make an announcement until Friday morning on whether it will move to liquidate its business, after the company had set a Thursday deadline for striking employees to return to work. The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Thursday it will file a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to shutter operations if enough workers don't return by 5 p.m. EST. That would result in the loss of about 18,000 jobs, including hundreds in Ogden. None of employees are on strike at the Utah Hostess plant in Ogden. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (15 Nov 2012)

<<APPHOTO UTRB108 (11/15/12)>>

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