Flowers Foods: Completes Hostess Bread Buyout

Thomasville / GA. (ff) Flowers Foods Inc., the second-largest producer and marketer of fresh packaged bakery foods in the United States, announced the completion of its acquisition of bread assets, including 20 bakeries; the Wonder, Merita, Home Pride, Butternut and Nature´s Pride brands; and 36 depots from Old HB Inc. (formerly Hostess Brands). The adjusted purchase price was 355 million USD.

The acquisition of the Hostess bread assets strengthens Flowers Foods´ position as the second-largest baker in the U.S. by adding brands and bakeries that will enhance the company´s ability to steadily expand the geographic reach of its fresh breads, buns, rolls and snack cakes into new markets. Flowers has experience integrating acquisitions, having completed more than 100 since listing publicly in 1968, including twelve in the past decade.

«These assets fit very well with our strategy to grow our fresh baked foods through market expansion and acquisitions», said Allen L. Shiver, president and chief executive officer. «Consumers across much of the country can expect to see these well-known and loved bread brands returning to store shelves over time».

Flowers´ direct-store-delivery system reaches from Maine to Florida and extends throughout the South, Southwest and west to California. Over the last decade, Flowers has more than doubled the reach of its fresh bread brands – from 38 percent of the U.S. population in 2003 to 77 percent of the population today. «We will continue our methodical market expansion, re-introducing the newly acquired brands into markets we currently serve and into new markets as we steadily expand into new regions of the country», Shiver explained.

Earlier this year, the company announced its bid to purchase the assets for 360 million USD and the bankruptcy court approved the sale in March. On July 08, Flowers received regulatory approval pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. The final acquisition price was adjusted to 355 million USD as a result of a contemplated purchase price adjustment related to the Butternut trademark.

Shiver said, «Our team has been keenly focused on serving the needs of our customers and the marketplace and we are seeing the results of our efforts. First quarter sales were up 25,9 percent, driven primarily by new business gained following Hostess´ exit from the market in November 2012 and by incremental sales from previous acquisitions».