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Twinkies Buyer Says Cakes Could Return By Summer

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A photo of Twinkies, made by Interstate Brands is viewed on January 11, 2012 in Washington,DC. Hostess Brands, the baker of Twinkie cakes and other iconic American foods, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday after failing to win concessions on union contracts. Founded in 1930, Hostess owns brands that were emblematic of American food for generations. Its popular Twinkie, a snack cake with a creamy filling, was launched that year. The company claims its Wonder bread, a vitamin-enriched sliced bread, was the first 100 percent natural bread available across the United States. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

A photo of Twinkies, made by Interstate Brands is viewed on January 11, 2012 in Washington,DC. Hostess Brands, the baker of Twinkie cakes and other iconic American foods, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday after failing to win concessions on union contracts. Founded in 1930, Hostess owns brands that were emblematic of American food for generations. Its popular Twinkie, a snack cake with a creamy filling, was launched that year. The company claims its Wonder bread, a vitamin-enriched sliced bread, was the first 100 percent natural bread available across the United States. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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(CBS/AP) – Hostess is moving ahead with plans to sell its Twinkies, and one of the new owners says the spongy cream-filled snacks could be back on shelves by summer.

The Twinkie was invented in 1930 in Schiller Park, under a precursor company, Continental Baking Co. Twinkies were originally banana-flavored until banana rationing during World War II prompted the company to switch to vanilla cream.

The bankrupt Hostess had earlier picked a $410 million joint offer from Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management as the “stalking horse” bid to set the floor for an auction.

In a document filed in U.S. bankruptcy court on Monday, however, Hostess Brands said the auction would not be held because no other qualified bids were submitted for the cakes, which include Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.

In a statement, Metropoulos & Co. CEO and founder Dean Metropoulos said the firm was looking forward to having “America’s favorite snacks back on the shelf by this summer.”

A spokesman for Hostess said the company had no comment on the lack of competing bids for the snack cakes. Previously, Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn had predicted the process would be “wild and wooly.”

A representative for Apollo, whose investments include the fast-food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, declined to comment.

Hostess had also canceled an auction for its Wonder and other major bread brands after no competing offers were made. Those breads are being sold to Flowers Foods, which is based in Thomasville, Ga., and makes Tastykakes and Nature’s Own bread. The final sales of the breads and Hostess snack cakes are set to be approved in bankruptcy court on March 19.

McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, was picked as the lead bidder for Drake’s cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels. The deadline to submit competing offers for those snack cakes is Tuesday, with an auction set for Friday.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, stopped making its cakes and breads in late November after it announced it was going out of business and closing its plants following years of financial struggles. Illinois plants included bakeries in Schiller Park, Hodgkins and Peoria.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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