March 1, 2013

Flowers Foods buys Hostess bread brands

From staff and news services

Hostess Brands Inc. confirmed Thursday that Flowers Foods will acquire most of Hostess' bread business for $360 million. No other qualified bids were received.

Flowers will acquire Hostess' Wonder brands, as well as Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature's Pride, pending approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In addition to the brands, Flowers will acquire 20 bakeries, 38 depots and other assets. Hostess did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the future of its bakery in Biddeford.

Hostess closed in November after years of financial problems. In Maine, 500 Hostess employees lost their jobs, including 370 at the bakery in Biddeford.

In a separate deal, Mexico's Grupo Bimbo was selected Thursday as the winning bidder for Hostess' Beefsteak brand, with a bid of $31.9 million. Hostess will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to approve both transactions at a hearing on March 19.

Hostess also is trying to sell its remaining brands, which include Hostess, Dolly Madison, Drake's, Sweetheart, Eddy's, Standish Farms and Grandma Emilie's.


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