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Twinkie prices skyrocket

“Starting to think the five hundred dollar Twinkie I bought this weekend might have been a bit premature.”

That’s what one Twitter user said about Hostess Brands’s recent file for bankrtcy and shutdown of all production and shipping.

The 82-year-old company’s motion to shut down and to sell its assets was approved Nov. 21 after it failed to reach a labor agreement with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union to end a union strike against the company.

With production completely shut down, some eBay auctioneers have started to offer Hostess snack cakes at prices as high as $100,000 for one box of Twinkies.

Hostess Brands, the parent company of  Hostess, Wonder Bread, and Nature’s Pride, has ceased all productions and shipping and announced Nov. 16 that it would begin winding down all operations and selling its assets, according to www.hostessbrands.info.

“We simply cannot continue to operate without the ability to produce or deliver our products,” wrote Rich Seban, Hostess Brands’ executive vice president and chief marketing officer, in a letter to the company’s customers.

The inability to produce and deliver products stems from a union strike against Hostess Brands that started Nov. 9.

According to court documents submitted by the union, the strike began after “the company’s unilateral imposition of a horrendous contract.”

The company previously filed for bankrtcy in 2004, then under the name International Bakeries.

According to court documents submitted by the union, workers made several concessions with the understanding that the money saved would be used to grade plants and trucks and develop new products.

However, the company emerged from the bankrtcy with $773 million in debt and was unable to implement these changes, according to court documents submitted by the union.

Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankrtcy Court approved the company’s request to wind down the business after a last-minute mediation with union leaders failed to end the strike.

With production completely halted, fans of Hostess’s trademark snacks have had trouble finding Hostess products in stores.

Some people have taken to selling the snacks to the highest bidder on eBay.

“This is your opportunity to own a piece of history, a delicious piece at that,” one eBay auctioneer said.

That auctioneer’s item, a single unopened Twinkie, sold for $5,000 Nov. 23.

Seban said the company plans to sell its trademark products, including Twinkies, CCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Sno Balls and Donettes.

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