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Wellesley man submits handwritten bid for Hostess

Posted by Evan Allen  December 10, 2012 01:00 PM

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Wellesley resident Donald Sheridan has been looking to buy a company for a long time – and Hostess, he thinks, could be the one for him.

So he sent a handwritten letter to Gregory Rayburn, CEO of bankrupt Hostess Brands, Inc., which is currently being liquidated, laying out his case:

“I’m interested in possibly buying the entire company,” he wrote in neat cursive. “Of course, I’ve come to the conclusion that bankruptcy proceedings have become nothing more than a means to employ stupid lawyers and stupid judges instead of being the means to teach stupid people hard lessons in stupid management.”

The 59-year-old is not your typical tycoon – he lives on social security disability benefits and has been unemployed for the last 15 years. He went to college for accounting, but never finished; his only experience in business was working as a part-time bookkeeper; and he really doesn’t have any capital.

“Why do I have to have capital if they don’t have any capital?” he said in an interview.

Hostess, which makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, declared it would begin winding down business and selling its assets in bankruptcy court in November, according to the Associated Press, citing a strike by its second biggest union that began on Nov. 9.

Though the liquidation announcement prompted a rush on Hostess products, according to the AP, the brands will likely be purchased by other buyers. The company does about $2.5 billion in business each year, according to the AP.

In an interview, Sheridan said that the philosophy driving his desire to purchase Hostess is that major corporations are poorly run, and should be much smaller.

His intent writing the letter, he said, was truly to buy the company, not just to make a philosophical statement about the nature of big business management. But, he acknowledges, his unusual quest may end up a more political than practical venture.

“In the ultimate end, it may end up being more a commentary,” he said. “How’s that for a twist?”

Sheridan's letter can be read in its entirety here. It is court document number 1890.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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