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Ex-striking Hostess union says it will support and work with bidders

By Kacey Culliney , 21-Jan-2013

A group of striking BCTGM union members pictured in November 2012. Photo credit: BCTGM
A group of striking BCTGM union members pictured in November 2012. Photo credit: BCTGM

The president of Hostess Brands' BCTGM workers union has said its members are looking to support and work with well-capitalized bidders.

Hostess Brands filed for a full shut down and sale of all business assets on November 16 2012 after nationwide strikes from members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). Members were angered by a pay-cutting deal enforced upon them as part of a five-year recovery plan to lift Hostess out of financial difficulties.

The liquidation led to the closure of 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, around 5,500 delivery routes, 570 bakery outlet stores across the US and 18,500 job losses.

Bidding has now commenced on assets and sales will be considered in the coming weeks.

“The Bakers are here to work with bidders in any way as our sole goal is to maximize jobs and pension benefits for our members,” said David Burkee, president of BCTGM and chairman of The Bakery, Confectionery Union and Industry International Pension Fund (Bakers Fund).

“We are looking to support and work with well-capitalized bidders,” Burkee said.

Bakers fund secures financial advisor

This announcement comes as the Bakers Fund secures New York investment bank Gordian Group LLC as its advisor for the chapter 11 cases currently pending.

“We are making every effort for our members by working to preserve their jobs and pension benefits, and assisting with the continuation of Hostess’ business and operations. We are delighted to add Gordian’s firepower to our advisory team,” the president and chairman said.

Gordian’s president and head of restructuring and distressed M&A Peter Kaufman said: “Given the sale process that is underway, we believe the Bakers working with a buyer create the opportunity to increase value and are pivotal to the success of the business. Buyers should know that the Bakers are very interested in having direct discussions with them.”

“Our mission here is a critical one, and we aim to assist the Bakers’ leadership and counsel in working with interested bidders to preserve jobs, providing a seamless restart of baking operations, and achieving the best possible outcome for the Bakers’ members under these difficult circumstances,” Kaufman added.

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