Hostess, the maker of well-known cream-filled
American treats such as Twinkies and Ho Ho's, will shut down its
operations and file for bankruptcy, the company announced Friday.
The closure means 18,500 workers will lose their jobs and the company will focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders, Hostess said in a news release.
"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision," said chief executive Gregory F. Rayburn. "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
The shutdown means the closure of 570 bakery outlet stores and 565 distribution centres throughout the United States. It also means the loss of soft and sweet confections that were mainstays in the lunchboxes of generations of American children.
The Twinkie was the most famous of the many confections made by Hostess, which was founded 82 years ago during the Great Depression. In recent years, however, Hostess products often turned up on lists of the least nutritous foods.
Ultimately, Hostess products were far richer in calories than the company was in cash: Crushing debt of more than 1 billion dollars is cited as the reason the Irving, Texas-based plant will file for bankruptcy protection for the second time in 10 years.
The online community lit up with reaction.
"No more Twinkies, no more Ho Ho's, no more reason to live!" said a message on Twitter.
A would-be entrepreneur on the online auction website eBay even offered 10 Twinkies for 100 dollars, announcing: "Buy now before they're gone forever."
One box of 10 Twinkies fetched 60 dollars on eBay and stores in New York City sold out of Hostess snacks soon after the bankruptcy announcement was made, ABC News reported.
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