Sale of Hostess's Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Wonder brands approved

Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread may soon be back in stores after a bankruptcy court judge on Tuesday approved sales of several iconic brands that had been owned by the failed Hostess Brands Inc.

Buyout firms Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co teamed up for Hostess's snack cake brands, paying $410 million for Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Donnettes.

Flowers Food Inc , which makes Tastykakes snacks, picked up most of Hostess's bread business, including its Wonder and Nature's Pride brands for $360 million. The No. 2 U.S. baking company also bought 20 bakeries and other operations.

The Beefsteak brand of bread was sold for $31.9 million to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. , the world's largest bread maker. Bimbo already owns Entenmann's cakes, Arnold bread and Thomas' English Muffins.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy last year and gave up on its plans to emerge from bankruptcy in November, blaming a strike by its bakers union for its failure to emerge from Chapter 11.

The bakers union said in a statement on Tuesday its members would be "indispensable partners" in restarting the former Hostess facilities and getting the products back into stores.

The money raised from the sales will be used to pay off Hostess's creditors, which the company said totaled $1.43 billion when it filed for bankruptcy.

Hostess will ask U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain to approve the sale of the line of Drake's snacks on April 9. Drake's Coffee Cake, Ring Dings and Devil Dogs were sold to McKee Foods Corp for $27.5 million.

The bankruptcy is: In re Hostess Brands Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-22052.

(Reporting By Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)