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Judge OKs Hostess's Twinkies, Ding Dongs sale

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A box of Hostess Brands "Twinkies" is on display, from what is believed to be the last shipment of Twinkies that Hostess brands will produce
A box of Hostess Brands "Twinkies" is on display, from what is believed to be the last shipment of Twinkies that Hostess brands will produce

(Reuters) - Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread may soon be back in stores after a bankruptcy court judge on Tuesday approved sales of several iconic brands that had been owned by the failed Hostess Brands Inc.

Buyout firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co teamed up for Hostess's snack cake brands, paying $410 million for Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Donnettes.

Flowers Food Inc, which makes Tastykakes snacks, picked up most of Hostess's bread business, including its Wonder and Nature's Pride brands for $360 million. The No. 2 U.S. baking company also bought 20 bakeries and other operations.

The Beefsteak brand of bread was sold for $31.9 million to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., the world's largest bread maker. Bimbo already owns Entenmann's cakes, Arnold bread and Thomas' English Muffins.

Hostess also said on Tuesday that United States Bakery had the winning bid in the March 15 auction for its remaining bread brands: Eddy's, Standish Farms and Grandma Emilie's. United States Bakery agreed to pay $30.9 million.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy last year and gave up on its plans to emerge from bankruptcy in November, blaming a strike by its bakers union for its failure to emerge from Chapter 11.

The bakers union said in a statement on Tuesday its members would be "indispensable partners" in restarting the former Hostess facilities and getting the products back into stores.

The money raised from the sales will be used to pay off Hostess's creditors, which the company said totaled $1.43 billion when it filed for bankruptcy.

Hostess will return to court on April 9 to ask U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain to approve the sale to United States Bakery and a separate sale of its line of Drake's snacks. Drake's Coffee Cake, Ring Dings and Devil Dogs were sold to McKee Foods Corp for $27.5 million.

The bankruptcy is: In re Hostess Brands Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-22052.

(Reporting By Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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