OK, just the facts. From Hostess Brands website
and to a link reference on this site
I have access to a subscription service. This the info I found.
The info there is that they have $2.5 Billion in annual sales
1-Year Employee Growth -9.76%
1-Year Sales Growth -2.34%
Founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1930 by Ralph Leroy Nafziger, Interstate Bakeries merged in 1937 with its local rival, Schulze Baking, beginning a strategy of growth through acquisitions and mergers. It acquired Supreme Baking of Los Angeles in 1943 and added O'Rourke Baking, of Buffalo, New York, to its operations in 1950.
The company entered the cake business in 1954 with the purchases of the Ambrosia Cake, Remar Baking, and Butter Cream Baking companies. It added more layers when it acquired Campbell-Sell Baking (1958) and the Kingston Cake Bakery (1959). In 1968 Interstate Bakeries purchased the Millbrook bread division of Nabisco.
The company itself became the object of an acquisition in 1975. DPF, of Hartsdale, New York, an IBM computer-leasing venture that had recorded a $43 million loss over four years, was seeking a low-risk, low-tech acquisition. As the nation's third-largest wholesale baker, Interstate fit the bill. The company attempted to block the sale, but DPF prevailed. It spun off its computer business in 1981 and took the Interstate Bakeries name.
Despite efforts to improve plant efficiency, the company recorded declining profits and was saddled with debt. In 1984, in hopes of turning the company around, the firm paid banks $36 million in outstanding loans from an over-funded $37 million pension fund.
Interstate Bakeries was taken private in 1987 through an LBO by a group of the company's managers. The company acquired American Bakeries' Merita/Cotton's Bakeries division that year, and Merita president Charles Sullivan was named CEO. The company again went public in 1991. Sullivan decentralized operations, and in 1995 Interstate Bakeries acquired its biggest rival, Ralston Purina's ailing Continental Baking, for $510 million.
In 1995 Interstate Bakeries put itself on the baking map with the purchase of rival Continental Baking (then maker of the popular Wonder and Hostess brands). New baking-enzyme technology made it possible for the company to leave its bread on grocery store shelves longer, cutting down on delivery stops and returns of unsold loaves -- all of which caused its bottom line to rise.
Continental was founded as the Ward Baking Co. in New York City in 1849. In 1921 William Ward, grandson of the company's founder, formed United Bakeries, which was renamed Continental Baking in 1924. By 1925, the year Continental bought Taggart Baking (maker of Wonder bread), it had become the US's largest bakery. Continental was sold to hotel and defense conglomerate ITT in 1968. The health-conscious 1970s were hard on Continental, maker of Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies, and in 1984 ITT sold Continental to Ralston Purina, which created a new class of stock in 1993 for separate trading of the company.
To comply with a US Justice Department order related to the Continental acquisition, in 1997 the company sold its Chicago Butternut Bakery and its Webers brand. That year it bought San Francisco French Bread, a maker of sourdough French bread (Parisian, Colombo, Toscana), from Specialty Foods and the Marie Callender's brand of croutons from International Commissary.
In 1998 firm bought New England-based John J. Nissen Baking, and Drake's (Ring Dings, Yodels), from Canada's Culinar. In 1999 it tried to buy the rest of Culinar, which owns the Canadian trademark for Hostess, but was outbid by Saputo Group.
A San Francisco jury ordered the company in 2000 to pay $132 million to 19 black employees who charged racial discrimination, but the trial judge reduced the damages to $27 million. In 2000-01 the company shut down several older bakeries and opened new plants in Virginia and Washington.
In 2004 (the same year it filed for bankruptcy) the company ended its alliance with Pepperidge Farm (a unit of Campbell Soup) which allowed it to distribute Pepperidge Farm brands in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Struggling due to a government investigation of its workers' compensation reserves and trouble with a newly installed financial data system, the company twice delayed filing its 2004 10-K. Later that year the company hired Alvarez & Marsal, a crisis-management and turnaround firm and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Also, chairman and CEO James Elsesser resigned at that time. Tony Alverez was named interim CEO and John Suckow was brought on board as chief restructuring officer. (Alvarez and Suckow were also officers of the turnaround management firm, Alvarez & Marsal.) Leo Benatar was named chairman.
In late 2004 the firm received bankruptcy court permission to use the $200 million in financing it obtained from JP Morgan Chase to reorganize. It used the money to pay salaries and supply costs. In January 2005 the SEC began a formal investigation with regard to how workers' compensation and other reserves were set. That April the company announced the closure of its Miami bakery and the consolidation of operations in Florida and Georgia as demand for its products continued to decline.
Still posting losses, the company was granted filing extension by the bankruptcy court in January 2007. With the approval of the bankruptcy court, it hired a permanent CEO, Craig Jung. Jung previously served as CEO of Panamerican Beverages. (He led the 2003 sale of Panamco, Panamerican's successor.) He was also the founding COO of Pepsi Bottling Group and helped take it public in 1999.
Interstate Bakeries exited bankruptcy in February 2009 with a restructuring plan backed by the New York investment firm Ripplewood Holdings and lenders, including Silver Point Capital. Shortly after emerging from bankruptcy, the company moved its corporate headquarters from Kansas City, Missouri (where it was founded some 80 years ago), to Irving, Texas (near Dallas). It also changed its name to Hostess Brands, to leverage the company's iconic brand. In 2010, Brian Driscoll was named CEO, succeeding Jung.
On January 11, 2012 Hostess Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Interesting post script from their site:
Hostess Brands is unprofitable under its current cost structure, much of which is determined by union wages and pension costs. The offer to the BCTGM included wage, benefit and work rule concessions but also gave Hostess Brandsí 12 unions a 25 percent ownership stake in the company, representation on its Board of Directors and $100 million in reorganized Hostess Brandsí debt.