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Grupo Bimbo Wins Beefsteak Bread From Hostess: Source

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 | 1:11 PM ET
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In a bankruptcy auction carried out Thursday at law firm Jones Day, Mexico's baking giant Grupo Bimbo placed the winning bid for Beefsteak, one of Hostess' bread brands, for $31.9 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

(Read More: Flowers Foods, Grupo Bimbo Prepare Hostess Bids: Sources)

Previously, Thomasville, Ga.-based Flowers Foods had been tapped as the leading bidder with a $30 million offer. At that time, Grupo Bimbo bid higher, but its proposed deal carried a hefty break-up fee, paid to Bimbo, that may have deterred other bidders.

The auction is the latest move by Hostess to offload its various business units after a bankruptcy judge approved a liquidation of the company after it failed to reach an agreement with its unions in 2012.

(Read More: The Fight to Buy Hostess: Main Street vs. Wall Street.)

On Wednesday, Flowers was named the winning bidder for the rest of Hostess' five bread brands — including Wonder Bread, Nature's Pride, and Merita — as well as 20 bakeries and various other assets. The bid stood at $355 million — plus an additional $5 million for certain licensing agreements — and remained unchallenged ahead of a proposed auction, sources said. Flowers Foods stock rose as much as 4 percent on the news in intraday trading Wednesday.

(Read More:At Hostess, Everything's for Sale but the Kitchen Sink.)

In March, marquee Hostess brands like Twinkies and Ding Dongs will be auctioned in a similar, court-sanctioned process. If all the sales close this spring, production of the brands could begin again around June, a person familiar with the matter has said.

By CNBC's Kayla Tausche; Follow her on Twitter: @KaylaTausche

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