Time to welcome back the Twinkie: Hostess is bringing back its popular snack cakes on July 15 after going bankrupt last year and selling its brands to various bidders.
Popular products such as Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Cupcakes will return to shelves next month under the new ownership of private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulous & Co., which picked up several Hostess names this spring for $410 million.
A clock posted on the Hostess website is counting down the seconds until what the company calls "the greatest treats the world has ever known will triumphantly return."
Some 427,000 people have thumbs-upped the site on Facebook, among them many of the consumers who swarmed into stores to stock up on the treats when a Twinkie extinction was feared.
In November, Hostess won court approval to start shutting its doors and laying off its 18,500 employee after butting heads with striking union workers.
The Irving, Texas, company filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 — its second such filing in a decade.
Hostess' brands were scattered to different owners.
Entenmann's and Sara Lee owner Grupo Bimbo paid $31.9 million for the Beefsteak bread business. Flowers Foods Inc. got the rest of the bread operation, such as the Wonder brand, along with several bakeries and depots. McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, took over the Drake's line of goods.
The new Twinkies owners aren't new to the grocery goods game. Apollo also owns Carl's Jr. parent CKE Restaurants Inc. Metropoulos controls beer favorite Pabst Brewing Co.
[Updated, Jun 24, 11:15 a.m.: Hannah Arnold, a spokeswoman with Hostess, said major retailers nationwide will carry the snack cakes, as will convenience stores and dollar stores.
"America wanted Hostess back - they wanted the original," said Daren Metropoulos, principal of Metropoulos & Co. in a statement. "A comeback by any other name could never be as sweet."]