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Daren Metropoulos: Forbes - Twinkie's Miracle Comeback
With ingenuity, capital and creative chemistry, billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos and Apollo Global's Andy Jhawar rescued Hostess Brands - and set themselves up to feast on a $2 billion gain.
Walk in the door of Hostess Brands' flagship bakery in Emporia, Kansas and your first thought is: What a dump. The former front office for the bakery that pumps out classic American treats like golden Twinkies and swirl-topped Cup Cakes is a series of dank, near-empty rooms with scuffed, oatmeal-color linoleum floors, water-stained ceiling panels and a jumble of mismatched office furniture that looks like it was picked up off the curb. Three minutes in this place and you're suddenly thankful for the wilted sign on the front door warning visitors that firearms are barred from the premises.
This grim wing of the Hostess plant is a leftover from the old Hostess - the one that debt, pension costs and mismanagement shuttered in 2012. But throw on a hairnet and pass on to the newly rehabilitated factory floor, and it makes sense why billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos, Apollo Global senior partner Andy Jhawar and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback are standing here, breathing in the sticky sweet air on a foggy April morning.
The new factory is bright and clean. Tight rows of Twinkies m arch along the $20 million Auto Bake system with the precision of Soviet soldiers in a May Day parade. Yellow robotic arms, which look like they should be welding Teslas rather than boxing Twinkies, stack snacks with hypnotic rhythm...
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