Hostess set to announce bidder for Twinkies

Hostess set to announce bidder for Twinkies

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A photo of Twinkies, made by Interstate Brands is viewed on January 11, 2012 in Washington,DC. Hostess Brands, the baker of Twinkie cakes and other iconic American foods, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday after failing to win concessions on union contracts. Founded in 1930, Hostess owns brands that were emblematic of American food for generations. Its popular Twinkie, a snack cake with a creamy filling, was launched that year. The company claims its Wonder bread, a vitamin-enriched sliced bread, was the first 100 percent natural bread available across the United States. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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by CANDICE CHOI / AP Food Industry Writer

KREM.com

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

NEW YORK -- The indestructible Twinkie appears to be one step closer to a comeback.

Hostess Brands is close to announcing that it has picked two investment firms -- C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management -- as the lead bidders for its Twinkies and other snack cakes, according to a source close to the situation who was not authorized to comment publicly on the talks.

The joint "stalking horse" bid would set the floor for an auction process that lets competitors make better offers. A judge would have to approve any final sale.

After years of management turmoil and turnover, Hostess declared it was going out of business and selling its brands in November. The company, based in Irving, Texas, has already announced separate lead bidders for other its brands. McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, was picked as for Drake's cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels.

Flowers Foods, which makes Tastykakes and a variety of breads, was picked as the lead bidder for six of Hostess' major bread brands, including Wonder.

United States Bakery Inc. was picked as the lead bidder for a number of smaller bread brands.

Citing sources close to the situation it did not same, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the offer for Twinkies and other snack cakes by C. Dean Metropoulos and Apollo would be for more than $400 million. The report said that the deal could be disclosed as early as Tuesday.

A representative for Apollo declined to comment. A representative for C. Dean Metropoulos did not return calls for comment.

Hostess has stressed in bankruptcy proceedings that it needs to move quickly in the sale of its brands to capitalize on the outpouring of nostalgia and media coverage prompted by its demise. The longer the cakes and breads are off shelves, the more people will become accustomed to eating cakes and breads by rivals, the company has said.

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