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J.M. Smucker to buy Hostess for $5.6 billion

J.M. Smucker said it will purchase snack company Hostess for $5.6 billion, as the jelly giant seeks to expand its product offerings with iconic snacks such as Twinkies and Ho Hos, the company said in a statement on Monday. 

“With this acquisition, we are adding an iconic sweet snacking platform … to drive continued growth,” J.M. Smucker CEO Mark Smucker said in the statement.

Hostess Brands struggled for years and nearly vanished before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in early 2012. Workers blamed the troubles on years of mismanagement and a failure to invest in brands to keep up with changing tastes. 

The Lenexa, Kansas, company said at the time that it was weighed down by higher pension and medical costs than its competitors, whose employees weren’t unionized.

Hostess reemerged in 2013 with a far less costly operating structure than its predecessor company and was no longer unionized. But, it wasn’t long before the company declared bankruptcy again in 2016. 

J. M. Smucker said it will pay $34.25 per share to Hostess shareholders as part of the cash and stock transaction. The boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal.

Associated Press contributed reporting. This is a developing story.

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