BEVERLY HILLS—Alec Gores, the chairman and chief executive of the Gores Group, is teaming up with other investors to buy Hostess Brands in a $2.3 billion deal.
Hostess Brands current owners’ billionaire food magnate C. Dean Metropoulos and New York private equity firm, Apollo Global Management announced on Tuesday, July 5 that they would sell a controlling stake to Gore Holdings. According to the press release from Gores Holdings, Inc. a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of The Gores Group, LLC .
When Hostess originally planned to close operations back in 2012, they started off selling their last inventories of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other goodies. Alec Gores spoke with The Los Angeles Times and told them that his children were some of the buyers of the few remaining Twinkies. Gore indicated to the LA Times that “Even my own kids were out trying to buy the last Twinkies,” said Gores, founder and chief executive of Beverly Hills private equity firm Gores Group. “It’s a big brand. It has big, iconic products.”
The former owners of Hostess sold its cake business to current owners Apollo and Metropoulos back in 2013 for about $410 million. Flower Foods also acquired its Wonder Bread business for $360 million. According to the New York Times, Metropoulos and Apollo were able to collect about $650 million in sales for the brand in 12 months ending in May.
Under the new deal with Hostess Brands, Gore Holdings will pay out $375 million raised from its I.P.O and additional $350 million raised from other investors. Alec Gores indicated in a statement that “Hostess presents a unique opportunity to invest in an iconic brand with strong fundamentals that is poised for continued growth.”
Daren Metropoulos, son of Dean Metropoulos, retweeted news articles on Twitter about the deal and the company becoming public. After the deal, Hostess will become a public company.
“I have enjoyed working together with Apollo to build a vibrant and exciting company, and we are pleased to partner with the Gores Holdings team as we move to the next stage of Hostess’ growth and expansion,” stated Dean Metropoulos. “We look forward to continuing both our strong organic growth through unique innovations and niche, strategic acquisitions, such as our recent acquisition of Superior Baking, which will extend Hostess’ consumer reach in the ‘in-store bakery’ market and expand offerings to customers.”
“This new phase in Hostess’ evolution and partnership with The Gores Group and our broader investor partners will continue to propel Hostess into a growing and innovative company with significant reach and potential long into the future,” he added. “We are very excited to continue to build this wonderful company and its iconic brands.”
Alec Gores, Chairman and CEO of The Gores Group, said, “We are pleased to partner with Dean, Bill and Apollo to introduce Hostess as a publicly listed company. We have evaluated a number of potential acquisitions for Gores Holdings and believe this transaction offers a superior option for our stockholders. Hostess presents a unique opportunity to invest in an iconic brand with strong fundamentals that is poised for continued growth. We look forward to working with the team at Hostess as we collaborate to further capitalize on these attractive growth prospects.”
Andy Jhawar, Senior Partner and Head of the Consumer and Retail Group at Apollo said, “We are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished together since we acquired these assets out of liquidation in 2013 and rebuilt the company into the great platform business it is today. Hostess possesses exciting continued organic top-line growth potential and is one of the highest EBITDA margin and cash generative food platforms in the U.S. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Dean and Bill, along with the team at Gores, to further grow and build Hostess.”
By Shatai Melvin and Donald Roberts