Lepage Bakeries owner working on deal to acquire Biddeford Hostess plant

Troy R. Bennett, Bangor Daily News (file)

Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union walk the picket line outside the Hostess bakery in Biddeford on Nov. 14, 2012. Hostess has since closed, and a Georgia-based company has announced an agreement to acquire the Biddeford plant.

BIDDEFORD — The Georgia-based owner of Auburn’s Lepage Bakeries has signed an agreement to acquire several of Hostess’ food brands and bakeries, including the one in Biddeford.

A spokesman for Flowers Foods, of Thomasville, Ga., Monday morning confirmed for the Bangor Daily News that Hostess’ bakery in Biddeford is included on the list of bakeries Flowers will acquire from Hostess Brands Inc. if the deal, which was announced Friday, is completed.

Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, in January 2012 filed for bankruptcy and in November said it would shut down for good. Flowers owns brands such as Nature’s Own and Tastykake.

The Biddeford Hostess plant employed nearly 600 people.

But it’s not a done deal yet, said Keith Hancock, Flowers’ spokesman.

“We’re just announcing the agreement at this point,” he said. “It’s still subject to bankruptcy court approval and an auction whereby a company or companies could come in and win the bid.”

Flowers actually signed two asset-purchase agreements with Hostess last week. One of the agreements provides for the purchase by Flowers of the Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut bread brands; 20 bakeries, including the one in Biddeford; and approximately 38 depots for $360 million. The other agreement provides for the purchase by Flowers of the Beefsteak brand for $30 million.

Hancock didn’t have any comment on questions about what Flowers planned to do with the Biddeford bakery if the deal is completed.

“It’s way too early to talk about something like that,” he said, “and the reason is this deal isn’t final. We don’t own those facilities yet.”

Flowers is no stranger to Maine. In July 2012, it acquired Auburn-based Lepage Bakeries, which owns two bakeries in Auburn and a third in Brattleboro, Vt.

That deal significantly expanded Flowers’ presence in the Northeast, Hancock said. He didn’t have immediate figures available for how many people Flowers employs in Maine, but news reports from last year said Lepage employed a total of 550 people in its three bakeries.

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Comments

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If the sale goes down, one of

If the sale goes down, one of the conditions of sale should be that none of the strikers be re-hired.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Hey, if they start making "Twinkies"

I worked one night many years ago delivering Wonder Bread products out of the Biddeford plant. At the time I was driving for "Country Kitchen", but agreed to go out during a snow storm to deliver a trailer load of product from Biddeford to a few terminals in MA. I didn't want to waste my night off, but when they told me the pay, I couldn't get to my truck fast enough. The work was easier than CK loads, but the fringe benefits were much better, " Hostess CupCakes ", I'm not saying I got carried away, but I would be willing to bet, there were a few rout drivers who came up short on their counts the next morning. I couldn't bring myself to eat another cupcake again for months.
If I could walk, I might consider going back to work, hauling Hostess. Then again, maybe this time I might try "Twinkies", I hear there less addictive, I mean filling.....

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