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Hostess picks lead bidders for Twinkies

NEW YORK — Hostess has picked a lead bidder for its famous Twinkies.

The bankrupt company said late Wednesday that it has selected a joint offer from two investment firms — C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management LLC — as the lead bid for its Twinkies and other snack cakes.

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Hostess, says the two are offering to pay $410 million for the snack-cake business and five bakeries.

The ‘‘stalking horse’’ bid would set the floor for an auction process that lets competitors make better offers. A judge would have to approve any final sale.

After years of management turmoil and turnover, Hostess declared in November it was going out of business and selling its brands. The company already announced separate lead bidders for its other brands including Drake’s cakes and Wonder bread.

The offer sets the stage for the return of Twinkies and other Hostess cakes to supermarket shelves under new management.

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