KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Under new ownership, Hostess Brands LLC is targeting July as the month when the company's products will be back on shelves.
The company plans to hire a "substantial" number of employees in several United States markets starting in May, with preliminary operations at some locations expected to begin later that month. Hostess Brands will reopen bakeries in Columbus, Ga.; Emporia, Kan.; Schiller Park, Ill.; and Indianapolis.
Following Hostess' 2012 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC formed Hostess Brands' new incarnation with a $410 million purchase. CEO C. Dean Metropoulos recently stated that the company will put $60 million in capital investments into reopening locations between now and September, with plans to hire at least 1,500 employees, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Reports of the company's rejuvenation came with news that it did not plan to hire union-represented workers. "We do not expect to be involved in the union going forward," said Metropoulos.
Hostess filed for bankruptcy last year after talks with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union broke down.
However, Dallas- and Kansas City, Mo.-based Hostess Brands today denied reports that it opposes employing union workers and is specifically seeking non-union workers. "[Hostess Brands] respects the right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to organize and bargain collectively through a union and the right to refrain from those activities," the company wrote in a released statement. "The hiring process at all of the locations will be administered by third-party and Hostess human resources professionals…with assistance from various state and local labor and employment agencies."
The company also stated that if a majority of the hired workers are from the unionized workforce of Hostess' previous incarnation, it will comply with any legal obligations it may have concerning bargaining with any union.
Under its new business model, Hostess Brands expects to run more efficiently and operate its bakeries at a higher capacity. It also plans to use third-party drivers and an outside sales organization, as well as operate a new distribution model through which it will deliver products directly to supermarket warehouses instead of to individual locations.
"Ultimately, the consumer will be getting fresher products sooner through this model," Metropoulos stated.
The new Hostess Brands also has a goal of increasing distribution to smaller convenience stores and dollar stores.
Individuals interested in applying for the open positions can visit jobs.hbnewco.com for more information.