US baker Flowers Foods has reached an agreement with Hostess Brands to acquire its Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut bread brands for around US$360m.

Flowers has emerged as the “stalking horse” bidder that, if the deal goes through, will also take on 20 of Hostess’ bakeries and approximately 38 depots.

In a separate agreement, Flowers is also set to acquire the Beefstrak brand for $30m.

Hostess went into liquidation at the end of last year, blaming a national strike for “crippling” the already struggling company. The agreement is subject to court approval and, should a higher bidder emerge, Flowers would have to revise its offer or walk away from the deal. 

Flowers said the deal at its current price is expected to be accretive to 2013 earnings. The company added that the move was in line with its target of reaching more of the US population by expanding its relationship with new retail and foodservice customers.

Hostess added that its reamining bread and cake brands were still on the block. 

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By GlobalData