Twinkies may survive after all. And Twinkie hoarders -- you know who you are! -- might get all the credit.
Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other Hostess snack delights have been flying off supermarket shelves ever since it was revealed last week that Hostess Brands Inc. -- maker of the iconic cream-filled cakes -- had filed for bankruptcy. The outpouring of grief has been dominating online conversations, with #LongLiveThe Twinkie! pulsing on Twitter, recipes for homemade Twinkies being swapped and Twinkies being sold (or at least offered for sale) at the jaw-dropping price of thousands of dollars a box on the likes of Craigslist and Ebay.
The furor over the possible loss of Twinkies has even reached the highest levels of U.S. government, with a petition campaign to ask President Obama to help save the Twinkie and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie being asked to, um, weigh in on the controversy.
But just because Hostess might be going away doesn't necessarily mean that Twinkies will follow (or, for that matter, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Wonder Bread and other childhood favorites).
In fact, all the media attention and the Twinkie and Ho Ho hoarding have only served to make the Hostess products plenty attractive to a buyer looking for a sweet deal, according to John Pottow, a University of Michigan Law School professor who specializes in bankruptcy.
"There's a huge amount of goodwill with the commercial brand name," Pottow told the Associated Press. "It's quite conceivable that they can sell the name and recipe for Twinkies to a company that wants to make them."
Business research firm PrivCo reports that Hostess brands such as Ho Hos and Wonder Bread could fetch $1 billion in an asset sale. One possible buyer: Bimbo Group -- the Mexico-based firm that already owns the likes of similarly positioned brands such as Sara Lee and Entenmann’s.
In fact, a deal might already be in the works: A Hostess spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that Hostess has entertained "interest from buyers for specific assets," but he stayed tight-lipped on who said buyers might be.
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