Hostess, Sitrick navigate company liquidation

Hostess Brands is working with Sitrick and Company as it begins shutting down its business.

Hostess Brands is working with Sitrick and Company as it begins shutting down its business.

Hostess has worked with the PR firm since 2004, when the company was still known as Interstate Bakeries Corporation, said Hostess spokesman Erik Halvorson.

The maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread headed to bankruptcy court Monday to begin the process of liquidating the 82-year-old company. Hostess, which employs 18,500 people, said Friday its business had been crippled by a nationwide workers strike. The bakers union that brought the company down includes 5,600 Hostess employees.

Last week, the company shut down three of its plants as a result of the strike, and it warned strikers on November 14 that it would be forced to liquidate if enough employees did not return to work by the following day.

Yet even as Hostess' warning has come to fruition, workers have held onto hopes that the company will find a buyer. Union President Frank Hurt said Sunday that he believed there was "more than a good chance" a buyer would purchase the profitable parts of the company and give workers their jobs back. Georgia-based baker Flowers Foods and Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo have been cited as potential buyers.

Another grain of hope for workers emerged at Monday's court hearing, when Hostess and its striking union agreed to mediation to avoid immediate liquidation.

“I'm also strongly suggesting that the parties should be willing to do it," the bankruptcy judge said when he asked the two sides to consider mediation. "I'm giving the union, as well as the debtors and their lenders, the last chance.”

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