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    Flowers Wins Bidding for Wonder

    $360 million deal also to include Butternut, Home Pride and other Hostess brands

    Georgia-based Flowers Foods Inc. is poised to buy the bread brands of the defunct Hostess Brands after submitting the sole bid for the properties in the wake of Hostess' much-publicized bankruptcy.

    Pending approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court judge, the $360 million deal will include Wonder Bread, Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature's Pride, Reuters reported. Hostess was set to auction off the brands on Thursday, but there were reportedly no other bids.

    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, an unnamed source told Reuters. Bimbo reportedly bid $1 million more for the Beefsteak brand, though its $31.9 million bid includes a $900,000 breakup fee.

    Flowers -  which agreed in January to be the "stalking horse" bidder, thus setting a floor for the bidding and a court-supervised auction - owns Nature's Own bread and Tastykake snacks, among other brands acquired over the years since its founding in 1919.

    Hostess next month expects to auction off its snack cake brands, including Hostess Twinkies and Dolly Madison, with bidding set at $410 million; and 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.

    United States Bakery Inc., also known as Franz Family Bakery, agreed to pay $28.85 million for the Sweetheart, Eddy's, Standish Farms and Grandma Emilie's bread brands, Reuters reported.

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