Hostess hires Northbrook firm to dispose of property
Updated: February 19, 2013 11:42AM
NORTHBROOK — Hilco, a privately-held Northbrook enterprise, will handle the sale of all Hostess Brands Inc. property remaining after its bankruptcy auction, which is to take place this month.
Hostess was best known for its snack cakes such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. The company, based in Irving, Texas, announced in November that it was closing and selling its bread and pastry brands, as well as its 33 bakeries and other facilities.
Hilco will sell all of Hostess’ real estate, machinery and equipment, as well as the rolling stock assets that remain in the company’s estate, said Gary Epstein, chief marketing officer at Hilco Trading. That will begin to take place following the bankruptcy court’s supervised auctions, which are to be conducted by investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners, he added.
Hilco also will assist Perella Weinberg Partners in the sale of any remaining intellectual property.
“This assignment carries with it great responsibilities. As the liquidating agent representing Hostess Brands, I am confident that Hilco will succeed in generating maximum value for the benefit of company’s creditors,” said Jeffrey B. Hecktman, chairman and CEO of Hilco.
“Hilco has managed multiple asset class sales of this nature in the past. Our strategy has been to use an integrated approach to value enhancement, made possible by leveraging the deep expertise and global reach of three Hilco business units.”
These are: Hilco Real Estate LLC, Hilco Industrial, LLC and Hilco Streambank, he added.
A fourth business unit, Hilco Asset Protection, LLC, also will provide security services at bakery facilities across the country during the sale process, Hecktman noted.
Hostess ceased production after years of controversy between management and employees.
Workers accused the company of not updating its products. Hostess, which filed about a year ago for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in less than 10 years, blamed expenses accompanying its employee unions. The company agreed to a new contract with the Teamsters, its largest union, but the bakers union refused the company’s terms and went on strike Nov. 9.
Federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain approved the appointment of Hilco to represent Hostess for its liquidation.
Hilco is a diversified financial and operational services firm that maximizes the value of business assets, Epstein said. This includes retail, consumer and industrial inventory; machinery and equipment; real estate; accounts receivable; intellectual property; and going-concern enterprises.
The firm has 500 professionals on five continents helping companies and their professional advisors assess asset value, maximize the value of those assets through monetization solutions, and enhance value through advisory and consulting solutions, he added.
During the last decade, Hilco has sold more than $20 billion of assets in more than 60 countries around the world, according to it website. Hilco Real Estate LLC has disposed of hundreds of millions of square feet of industrial, warehouse, office, retail and other property, and Hilco Industrial LLC has completed more than 1,800 industrial asset disposition projects worldwide.