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    Judge OKs Purchase Deals for Hostess Snack Cakes, Wonder Bread

    Twinkies among brands that could be back on store shelves this summer.

    NEW YORK -- Consumers with a sweet tooth are sure to be happy that Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other brands could be available again soon. Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday approved the sale of the aforementioned products by Hostess Brands Inc. to Apollo Management and Metropoulos & Co. for $410 million.

    According to the Associated Press, Evan Metropoulos, a principal of the latter firm, wants to have the snacks back on store shelves this summer. "There's no mistake, we've got to move smartly, we've got to move quickly," he told the news outlet.

    Metropoulos owns Pabst beer while Apollo's investments include fast-food hamburger chains Hardee's and Carl's Jr.

    Drain also approved Hostess' sale of Wonder Bread to Flowers Foods for $360 million. Flowers Foods, maker of Tastykakes, will also receive the Nature's Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita brands as part of the deal. The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the transaction, according to Hostess.

    In addition, Drain approved Hostess' sale of Beefsteak to Grupo Bimbo for $31.9 million. Grupo Bimbo makes Entenmann's cakes and Thomas' English muffins.

    Separately, another hearing is scheduled for April 9 to potentially approve the sale of Drake's cakes, which includes Devil Dogs and Yodels. McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, was tapped by Hostess to buy the brand for $27.5 million.

    The Hostess bakers union, which previously objected to the sales, said in a statement that it was enthusiastic to return Hostess brands to store shelves rapidly, reported the AP.

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