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    Hostess' Snack Cakes Have New Owners

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hostess Brands has tapped a buyer for its Hostess and Dolly Madison brands, a move that could put Twinkies back on store shelves by this summer.

    The Irving, Texas-based snack company will present the stalking horse bid submitted by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC and Metropoulos & Co. for approval to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York at hearing on March 19. No other qualified bids were received for these assets.

    In the joint offer, Apollo and Metropoulos agreed to pay $410 million to purchase the brands, five bakeries and certain equipment. Among the products included are Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Donettes snack cakes.

    "The agreement results in significant value for our stakeholders, and we look forward to putting the proposed transaction before the court next week," said Hostess Brands Chairman and CEO Gregory F. Rayburn.

    In a statement to the Associated Press, Metropoulos & Co. CEO and founder Dean Metropoulos said the firm was looking forward to having "America's favorite snacks back on the shelf by this summer."

    The decisions on its snacks cakes comes two months after Hostess selected Flowers Foods Inc.'s stalking horse bid for its bread brands. In two purchase agreements totaling $390 million, Flowers Foods agreed to purchase the Wonder, Nature's Pride, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut bread brands, 20 bakeries and approximately 38 depots for $360 million and the Beefsteak brand for $30 million, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    Hostess hung a for-sale sign on its assets when it filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in White Plains, N.Y. in mid-November. Hostess got the go-ahead to begin shutting down its operations right before Thanksgiving after talks between the company and the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union broke down. The baker's union went on strike Nov. 9, which led Hostess to move forward with its bankruptcy plans on Nov. 16.

     

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