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Interstate Bakeries Seeks to Hire Jung as Chief

February 01, 2007

(Corrects details of financing request in sixth paragraph of a story published Jan. 30.)

Interstate Bakeries Corp., the bankrupt maker of Hostess Twinkies, asked a judge to approve the appointment of former Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. executive Craig Jung as chief executive officer.

``Jung possesses the knowledge, skill and experience to lead the debtors towards emergence,'' Interstate lawyer J. Eric Ivester, of New York's Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, wrote in a court filing today. Jung would be paid a $1.2 million signing bonus, a base salary of $900,000 a year and performance bonuses, according to the filing.

Jung worked 14 years for PepsiCo Inc. (PEP:US) and its affiliates, including a stint as chief operating officer of drinks distributor Pepsi Bottling, according to the filing. He also worked at the Canadian operations of PepsiCo's Frito-Lay snack- food unit and was most recently CEO of Panamerican Beverages Inc., which provides drinks to Coca-Cola Co.

The appointment requires approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Venters in Kansas City, Missouri. Candidates had balked at taking Interstate's top post because of the company's dispute with creditors over the board's composition. On Jan. 5, Venters approved Interstate's agreement to shrink the board to seven members from nine, with five current members to be removed and three new ones added.

Spencer Stuart, the recruiting firm Interstate hired for the CEO search, interviewed and vetted more than 95 candidates for the job, Ivester said in the filing.

Also today, Interstate asked Venters to allow it access to its $200 million in financing from JPMorganChase & Co. until February 2008. The funding is currently set to expire in June.

Interstate, based in Kansas City, Missouri, filed for bankruptcy in 2004 as diet trends changed and pension and fuel costs rose. The company had assets of $1.63 billion and liabilities of $1.32 billion when it filed for bankruptcy.

Interstate's shares rose 15 cents to $2.40 in over-the- counter trading.

The case is In re Interstate Bakeries Corp., 04-45814, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Missouri (Kansas City).

To contact the reporter on this story: Thom Weidlich in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick Oster at

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