Hostess Brands, the bankrupt maker of the cream-filled Twinkies sponge cakes, sought court clearance to go out of business yesterday after failing to convince thousands of striking workers to accept an 8 per cent wage cut and reduced benefits.
The Texas-based company, which filed the liquidation request with a bankruptcy court in New York, said most of its 18,500 employees would lose their jobs.
The news saw some hopeful customers immediately list boxes of Twinkies on the online auction site eBay, with one asking $100 for what they deemed a "soon to be gone" pack of 10 cakes, which retail for about $5.
However, Hostess said that it expects to sell its brands, and as much of the infrastructure as it can. "There is value in the brands," a spokesman said.
In the court filing, Hostess, which immediately suspended operations at its 33 plants in the US yesterday, said it would take a year to wind down its business. The company, which also filed for bankruptcy in 2004, said not enough staff returned to work by a Thursday deadline.