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Hostess hopes buyer might save Twinkies, other products

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Hostess says it's going out of business -- but some of its products may continue to be sold. The company's CEO says he's hoping to find a buyer for about 30 Hostess brands.

Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, had warned employees it would move to shut down its operations and sell its brands if striking workers didn't allow plants to resume normal operations by yesterday evening. The deadline passed without a deal. Thousands of union members went on strike last week after rejecting a contract offer that slashed wages and benefits.

CEO Greg Rayburn says there's no buyer waiting in the wings to rescue the company, but that there's been interest in some of its 30 brands, which include Dolly Madison and Nature's Pride snacks.

Hostess was hurt by a consumer shift toward more wholesome, fresh products. And it was saddled with high pension, wage and medical costs related to its unionized workforce. Rayburn said the company was operating on thin margins, and that the strike was a final blow.

The closing will mean the loss of about 18,500 jobs.

The company's roughly 500 bakery outlet stores will stay open for several days to sell remaining products.


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