There are about two dozen bidders, said the person, who asked not to be named because the process is confidential. Last month, financial adviser Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners LP said the liquidation sale may generate about $1 billion. A few of the bids are for all the assets, some are for just the cakes or breads businesses, and others are interested in individual Hostess plants, said the person.
Perella's Scherer declined to comment, citing the confidential bidding process, as did Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn. Keith Dailey, a spokesman at grocery chain Kroger, declined to comment. David Tovar, a spokesman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, also declined to comment.
Hostess sought court protection in January for the second time, less than three years after completing a restructuring that spanned 4 1/2 years. The company said last month that it would liquidate and fire more than 18,000 workers after failing to come to an agreement with its bakers' union on concessions to help Hostess emerge from bankruptcy.
Branding experts recently told Ad Age that Hostess products still hold plenty of appeal because of their iconic nature.--Bloomberg News, with E.J. Schultz