US baker Hostess Brands, which filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year, has said it is still eyeing an exit from bankruptcy despite warning employees jobs could go if the company is sold or closed.

Reports in the US this week have reported Hostess's warning to its 18,500 staff that jobs were under threat if the Twinkies maker is offloaded or shut down.

However, Hostess told just-food the company was required to issue the announcement to employees and insisted it aimed for an improvement in its fortunes.

"The notices were sent to alert employees that a sale or wind down of the company is possible in the future. However, our goal is still to emerge from bankruptcy as a growing company and there are no immediate actions being taken to sell or wind down the company," Hostess said. "We are simply fulfilling our requirements by sending these notices."

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January with over US$1bn in debts. It is the second time the company has entered Chapter 11; it did so as Interstate Bakeries Corp. in 2004, emerging five years later.

In March, turnaround veteran Greg Rayburn was appointed president and CEO after the resignation of Brian Driscoll.

When asked by just-food what Rayburn's priorities for Hostess were, a spokesperson declined to comment.

Earlier this week, US snack maker Diamond Foods announced it had appointed Driscoll as its chief executive.