REFILE-Hostess says PE firms to buy snack-cake business, no auction needed

Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:57pm EDT

By Bernard Vaughan

NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - Hostess Brands Inc said Monday its snack-cake business would be sold to private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co after no other bids were received, negating the need for an auction.

Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos in January offered $410 million for the business, which includes Twinkies, Cup Cakes and Suzy Q's.

The bid by the private equity firms for the 82-year-old baker was to serve as the minimum offer for the business, which others could have topped in an auction. Mexico's Grupo Bimbo had been seen as a potential candidate but no other bids materialized.

"Pursuant to the bidding procedures order, no auction will be conducted and buyer is the successful bidder," the company's attorneys wrote in a filing on Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, NY.

Hostess was granted permission by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge in November to wind down its business and liquidate its assets after a strike by a baker's union crippled the company's operations.

Apollo spokesman Charles Zehren declined comment. Representatives of C. Dean Metropoulos and Perella Weinberg Partners, the advisory firm which is managing the sale of Hostess assets, were not immediately available.

Apollo said in a press release announcing its bid that it expects the deal to close before the end of April. The firm, which had $113 billion in assets under management at the end of last year, said it saw "significant potential for renewed growth and expansion into additional channels of distribution," with the brands.

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