Fortune: Sun Capital interested in Hostess

by Eric Schroeder
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BOCA RATON, FLA. — Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, Inc., which has invested in more than 305 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $45 billion since its inception in 1995, would like to acquire Hostess Brands, Inc., according to Fortune magazine.

Sun Capital told Fortune that the proposal would be to operate Hostess as a going concern, including reopening the shuttered facilities and continuing union representation of Hostess workers. The private equity firm said it expressed interest in acquiring Hostess earlier this year, but was turned down after Hostess’ creditors opted for an alternate reorganization plan.

“I think that we could offer a slightly better, more labor-friendly deal than what was on the table last week,” Marc Leder, co-chief executive officer of Sun Capital, told Fortune. “We also think that one point the unions have made is that there hasn’t been a great amount of reinvestment in the business. We’ve found that investing new capital into companies like this can be very positive for brand, people and profitability. . . We would look to invest in newer, more modern, manufacturing assets that would enable the company to become more productive and to innovate.”

Mr. Leder said he thinks Hostess would be a relatively easy company to restart, primarily because the company’s shutdown has left a lot of empty shelves in the marketplace that have yet to be filled.

A spokesperson for Hostess said the company could not comment on any specific potential buyers. Other companies that have been mentioned in the media in recent days as potential buyers for Hostess’ assets include Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., Flowers Foods, Inc., ConAgra Foods, Inc. and McKee Foods Corp.

Sun Capital’s investments in the food and beverage space include: Contessa Premium Foods, a U.S. processor and distributor of seafood and frozen convenience meals; Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, a beef processor whose customer base is 50% food service and 50% retail; and Harry’s Fresh Foods, a producer of home-style refrigerated foods that serve the retail and food service markets with soups, entrees, sides, sauces and desserts.

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