Deal saves Wonder Bread; Twinkies still in limbo

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Bankrupt bakery giant Hostess Brands Inc. has announced a tentative agreement to sell its Wonder Bread brand to archrival Flower Foods Inc., maker of Tastykakes, while it continues to seek a buyer for its iconic snack line of Twinkies, Devil Dogs and Ho Hos, among others.

Irving, Texas-based Hostess announced in November it was shutting down and selling its vaulable brands following years of management turmoil and clashes with the unions representing the company’s 18,500 workers. The failure to strike a deal with the striking unions last year sparked the decision to shutter the company.

Flower Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., will pay $390 million for the Hostess’s bread lines, which include Wonder Bread, Nature’s Pride and Home Pride. Included in the purchase will be 20 bakeries and 38 Hostess distribution depots. Hostess said the bread brands generated nearly $1 billion in revenues in 2012, with about half of that coming from Wonder Bread alone.

The deal still must be approved by the court handling the Hostess bankruptcy, and there’s still a possibility another bidder could come in with a higher price, Hostess officials said.

Hostess in its statement also said it hopes to announce buyers for its Twinkies and other snack cake lines in the next few weeks. Interest in the brands — fueled by a wave of nostalgia when it was announced last year that the Twinkie could soon be history — has reportedly been fierce, with a number of supermarket chains and competing bakery firms considering bids.

In addition to Tastykakes, Flower Foods sells its own lines of bread products, including Nature’s Own and Cobblestone Mill.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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About the Author
David R. Sands

David R. Sands

Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.

At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...

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