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Pabst Owner Metropoulos Considers Bid for Hostess Brands

C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., the private equity firm that owns Pabst Brewing Co., is considering an offer to buy Hostess Brands Inc., which said today it plans to liquidate its business.

“Our family would love to purchase these iconic brands,” said Daren Metropoulos, a principal at the Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, which paid $250 million for Pabst in 2010. “We are actively pursuing this deal as no doubt strategics will also.”

C. Dean Metropoulos, founder of the firm, has specialized in purchasing struggling brands, such as Chef Boyardee and Bumble Bee Tuna and turning them around. The firm paid close attention to the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread during its bankruptcy proceedings, Daren Metropoulos has said.

“We have analyzed this opportunity very carefully for a few years now,” Metropoulos said in an e-mail. “Shedding the complications of the unions and old plants makes it even more attractive.”

The 82-year-old company also makes Hostess CupCakes, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. The private equity firm is “fully prepared to participate in any process involving selling the brands,” Daren Metropoulos said.

Hostess said today it will fire more than 18,000 workers and liquidate after a nationwide strike by bakery workers crippled operations. The company struggled after changes in American diets led to years of declining sales while ingredient costs and labor expenses climbed.

The company, based in Irving, Texas, plans to sell its products until supplies are exhausted. The decision to liquidate capped a weeklong standoff between Hostess, once the largest U.S. wholesale baker, and a union that called its proposed labor contract “horrendous.”

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