If all goes as planned, Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO ) could soon own the majority of Hostess Brands' classic breads, Wonder Bread included -- assuming its $355 million bid to buy the brands out of bankruptcy court succeeds. And what a welcoming gift that will be for Flowers' new CEO.
On Friday, Flowers announced that it has promoted company President Allen L. Shiver to the positions of president and CEO. Shiver, a 33-year veteran of the company, replaces current Chairman and CEO George E. Deese on March 22, at which time Deese will become executive chairman of the board.
Flowers is currently the No. 2 breadmaker in the U.S. fresh-baked-foods market (after Mexico-owned Bimbo Bakeries USA). In a statement announcing his promotion, Shiver averred that his plan upon taking office will be to strengthen the company's No. 2 position with a "goal of reaching 75% of the U.S. population with our fresh baked foods three years ahead of schedule."
Bringing Hostess in-house would be a big step toward making that happen.