Reports: Flowers Foods to buy Wonder Bread

NEW YORK — According to published reports, Flowers Foods is set to buy Hostess bread brands, including Wonder bread, for $360 million after no other bidder came forward with a competing offer, a source familiar with the sale acknowledged Wednesday.

According to a Reuters report, Hostess, which went bankrupt last year, was scheduled to host an auction on Thursday for the brands — which also include Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature's Pride — but as no other bids were announced, the company will not go through with an auction.

There will be an auction for the Beefsteak brand, for which Flowers bid $30 million, since Hostess received a higher bid from Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, said the source, who declined to be named as the process is private.

Hostess expects to run two more auctions next month. One would be for the Hostess snack cake brands, including Hostess Twinkies and Dolly Madison, for which private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos set the bidding at $410 million.

The other would be for its Drake's cake business and additional bread brands. So far, McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, offered $27.5 million for Drake's, which includes Ring Dings, Yodels and Devil Dogs.

Though no other bids were made, the deal with Flowers is still subject to approval by a bankruptcy court.

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