Hostess Brands will seek liquidation unless enough workers return

Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:45pm EST

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Hostess Brands Inc said it would seek this week to liquidate the company unless enough workers stopped striking by the end of the workday on Thursday to allow the maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies to resume normal operations.

Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) went on strike on Nov. 9 in response to court-approved pay cuts. The company, which has about 18,000 employees, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.

Hostess said it would file a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, on Friday to close shop and sell its assets if enough employees do not return to work by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday. If the motion is granted, Hostess would begin to close its operations as soon as Nov. 20.

Hostess Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said the company did not have the financial wherewithal to weather an ongoing strike. A union spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The case is Hostess Brands Inc, Case No. 12-22052, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.