Hostess approved for liquidation, fate of local facilities all but certain

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More than 138 jobs at Hostess facilities in Atwater and Glendale appear headed for the chopping block — this time for good after a federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved the company’s plan for an “orderly wind-down.”

A spokeswoman for Hostess on Monday said all local operations, including a bakery plant in Atwater that employees 125 workers, remained shut down. And a retail thrift storefront in Glendale would remain open as long as took for workers to sell off the remaining inventory of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.

That most likely won’t change after Wednesday’s action, with Hostess set to start selling off the rights to Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other baked brands.

The company will also start shrinking its employee head count to 3,200 workers from 18,500, the 82-year-old pastry maker said.

Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York gave Hostess the go-ahead to start fielding bidders for its assets, the company said.

Drain’s approval came after the failure Tuesday of several hours of “eleventh-hour mediation” between Hostess and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union.

The mediation may have been doomed from the start, according to experts. A line of potential buyers has formed in the last few days, among them Hurst Capital and, according to reports, Flowers Foods, Sun Capital Partners and Bimbo Group.

Hostess has 565 distribution centers around the country, as well as 33 bakeries and 570 bakery outlets.

The back and forth came after Hostess announced Friday that it would go out of business, blaming a strike by members of the BCTGM union. Workers who walked off their jobs accused Hostess of boosting executive pay while plundering worker benefits and slashing wages.

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Judge approves Hostess liquidation, 15,000 immediate layoffs

Los Angeles Times staff writer Tiffany Hsu contributed to this report.

-- Jason Wells and Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Follow Jason Wells on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells.

 

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