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Hostess cleared by court to auction off Twinkie brand

(Reuters) - Hostess Brands Inc , the bankrupt maker of Twinkies snack cakes, received court permission on Monday to proceed with auctions for several of its brands, including Twinkies and Wonder Bread.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, NY, cleared Hostess to sell off assets related to its Hostess and Dolly Madison Brands.

A hearing to approve the successful bidder is scheduled for March 19.

Private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co have set a baseline offer of $410 million to buy the company's snack cake brands including Hostess Twinkies and Dolly Madison, Hostess said last month.

The so-called stalking horse bid by the private equity firms, working together to buy the 82-year-old baker, would serve as the minimum offer for the business, which could still be topped by others.

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.

The sale of assets, which range from Twinkies and Wonder Bread to real estate and baking equipment, is being run by Perella Weinberg Partners.

(Reporting By Nicola Leske; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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