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Hostess expects to announce bidder for Drake's

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hostess said Friday expects to unveil a bidder for Drake's snack cakes next week, although the fate of Twinkies is still being negotiated.

Drake's cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels, are among the brands Hostess is selling after announcing in November that it was shutting down its business.

Earlier this month, Hostess Brands Inc. filed bids by Tastykakes maker Flowers Foods Inc. to buy six of its bread brands, including Wonder, for $390 million.

Hostess, which is based in Irving, Texas, is filing bids for its popular brands in stages. These “stalking horse bids” set a floor for an auction process that lets rivals make better offers. The final sale must be approved by a judge in bankruptcy court.

Hostess spokesman Lance Ignon said the company expects to file bids for the rest of its brands in the “near-term.”

Its breads and snack cakes also include Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Zingers.

The company's demise came after years of management turmoil and turnover, with workers saying the company failed to invest its brands. Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time in less than a decade in January 2012, citing costs associated with its unionized workforce. It had about 18,500 employees when it announced that it was shutting down after it was unable to reach a deal on a new contract with striking workers.

The company has stressed in bankruptcy court that it would need to move quickly in the sales to capitalize on the outpouring of nostalgia prompted by its shuttering.

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