Hostess sale of Wonder bread nears completion

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NEW YORK — Wonder bread is one step closer to getting a new owner.


A person familiar with the situation says a bid by Flowers Foods to buy several bread brands from Hostess was met with no competing offers. The individual requested anonymity because the auction process is private.


The $360 million bid by Flowers also includes Nature’s Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita breads. An auction will still be held Thursday for a separate $30 million bid by Flowers for Beefsteak. The source said a competing offer for that brand was submitted by Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, which makes Thomas’ English muffins and Entenmann’s cakes.


Any sales would be subject to approval by a bankruptcy court on March 19.


Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., makes Tastykakes and breads including Nature’s Own and Cobblestone Mill. Hostess has also picked “stalking horse bidder” for its snack cakes, which include Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. The deadline to submit competing offers for those brands isn’t until mid-March.


Taken together, Hostess has said its six bread brands generated just under $1 billion in sales last year, with Wonder bread accounting for about half of that. Flower Foods, which generates about $3 billion in annual sales, said it expects the deals to be accretive to its earning this year. The company plans to finance the deal through a mix of cash and debt.


Hostess announced it would go out of business late last year.


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