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How Much Is a Twinkie Worth?

How Much Is a Twinkie Worth?
Photograph by Howard Bjornson

On Nov. 29, Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, won final approval from a judge to liquidate the company and sell its assets. Along with the plants and equipment, the assets include the company’s popular brands—many of which have gained iconic status. This has raised a lot of speculation about a buyout, with potential suitors ranging from Flowers Foods, which makes Nature’s Own bread and Tastykake snacks, to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, maker of Thomas’ English Muffins and Entenmann’s baked goods.

The real question, however, is not who will buy Hostess Brands, but how much they should pay. Hostess has amassed a large portfolio of familiar brands, including Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Sno Balls, Devil Dogs, and Ring Dings, to name just a few. What value should Hostess (and the potential buyer) put on all these household names? When the 82-year-old company filed for bankruptcy in January, it cited $982 million in assets and debt of $1.43 billion.