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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #59 (permalink)
cjr72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Nonymous View Post
Honestly, I think there is plenty of blame to go around here. The company was horribly mismanaged from the top. I have a co-worker who says they were bought by Bain Financial who did the mismanagement, but I have yet to find anything online to confirm that so no clue there.
Hostess was bought by a private equity firm but not Bain:

Quote:
Enter the cast of moneymen. After five years -- unusually long for a reorganization -- the company became a private entity, having won concessions from the unions and new capital from investors. The deepest pocket: Ripplewood Holdings, a PE firm based in midtown Manhattan that reportedly once managed $4 billion in capital.

Ripplewood is run by Tim Collins, 55, who's been at the center of other famed PE transactions. Known as a brilliant capitalist-philanthropist-networker, he's an eclectic character: a Democrat in an industry of Republicans; an Adirondack enthusiast dreaded by pheasant and fish; a board member at the Yale divinity and business schools; and someone who took a year at 31 to work at a refugee camp in the Sudan. Ripplewood orchestrated the $1.1 billion turnaround in 2000 of the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, which marked the first time that foreign interests controlled a Japanese bank. (Collins made the cover of Fortune Asia for it.) The bank was renamed Shinsei, and in 2004 it had a lucrative initial public stock offering. Far less fortunately, in 2007 Ripplewood acquired Reader's Digest -- and saw its $275 million investment vanish in Reader's Digest's bankruptcy filing in 2009. (Collins reportedly had visions of merging Reader's Digest with the magazine division of Time Warner (TWX), which owns Fortune.)

Ripplewood's foray into Hostess was partly enabled by Collins's connections in the Democratic Party. He wanted to explore deals with union-involved companies and sought the help of former congressman Gephardt, who in 2005 founded the Gephardt Group, an Atlanta consulting firm that provides "labor advisory services." In his 2004 presidential bid, Gephardt -- whose father was a Teamsters milk truck driver -- was endorsed by 21 of the largest U.S. labor unions; in 2003, Collins was one of 19 "founding members" of Gephardt's New York State leadership committee. (Today, Ripplewood and Hostess are listed online as major clients of Gephardt's consulting group, which is also an equity owner of Hostess.) Back when Hostess was coming out of the first bankruptcy, Gephardt's credibility with both Ripplewood and the Teamsters gave them each a little more room to break bread.
Hostess is bankrupt again - Fortune Management
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