Dean Metropoulos Makes New Acquisition; Saves the Twinkie!

Dean Metropoulos buys Twinkies company

Greek-American Dean Metropoulos, through his private equity firm, Metropoulos & Co, teamed up with fellow billionaire Leon Black’s private equity firm Apollo to buy bankrupt Hostess’s snack cakes line twinkies.

The deal was announced today by Hostess brands Inc. with Apollo and Metropoulos agreeing to pay $410 million for the majority of the Company’s snack cake business, which includes both Hostess® and Dolly Madison® branded products.

Among the products included are the Company’s Twinkies®, Ho Hos®, Ding Dongs® and Donettes® snack cakes. The Company will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to approve the transaction at a hearing on March 19.

“The agreement results in significant value for our stakeholders and we look forward to putting the proposed transaction before the Court next week,” said Hostess Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory F. Rayburn .

Hostess declared bankruptcy last fall after failed contract talks with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union.

Greek-American Actor Zach Galifianakis is reportedly being considered as a pitch man for Twinkies as the brand attempts to revive. Metropoulos and his sons are known for their grass-roots and guerrilla marketing strategy which boost the sales of Pabst Beer after they acquired the company in 2011.

Metropoulos definitely knows a thing or two about turning around brands. He paid $250 million in June 2011 for blue-collar-turned-hipster-darling Pabst Brewing Co., North America’s largest privately-held brewer. In 1996 he and partners formed International Home Foods, then revamped Chef Boyardee pasta products, PAM cooking spray and Bumble Bee seafood. In 2000 he sold IHF to ConAgra for $2.9 billion. Four years later he bought Aurora Foods out of bankruptcy and merged it with Pinnacle Foods (Aunt Jemima, Duncan Hines, Log Cabin). He and fellow investors sold it to Blackstone Group for $2.2 billion in 2007.

Metropoulos has also reinvigorated businesses such as U.K.-based Hillsdown Holdings (now public), Premier Foods and Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagnes. Metropoulos was born in Greece and came to Watertown, Mass. with his family at age 10. His father moved the family to America looking for a better future for his children. At age 25, he went to Geneva, Switzerland, to become a financial director for GTE International’s (now Verizon) European, Middle Eastern and African operations; he returned to the U.S. as the company’s youngest controller.

Related Video: Interview with ‘acquisition king’ Dean Metropoulos:

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