US-based food group Hostess to sell Twinkies to private equity

US wholesale baker Hostess Brands Inc could soon announce a deal worth around USD400m (EUR296.2m) to divest certain snack cake brands such as Twinkies and Donettes to buyout firms Apollo Global Management LLC and C Dean Metropoulos & Co, two sources told Reuters.

The targeted activities also include the Dolly Madison bread and Hostess cupcakes brands.

The bankrupt company is currently picking stalking horse bidders for its various brands and activities. Previously, it agreed to sell most of its bread business plus the Beefsteak bread brand to Flowers Foods Inc (NYSE:FLO) in two separate transactions for up to USD360m and USD30m.

Furthermore, Hostess entered into an agreement to shed its Drake’s snack cake operation to McKee Foods Corp for USD27.5m as well as its Sweetheart, Eddy’s, Standish Farms and Grandma Emilie’s bread brands and some assets to United States Bakery Inc, also called Franz Family Bakery, for USD28.9m.

Other interested parties could still participate in an auction for these businesses and make better offers. According to the lead banker on the sale, Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners, many parties have shown interest in Hostess’ assets, Reuters said.

Sponsor Apollo acquires UK jewellery chain operator Aurum

US private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO) said it had struck a definitive deal to buy UK luxury jewellery retailer Aurum Holdings Limited.

The investor did no say how much it would pay for the business.

Aurum, which was founded in 2004 and based in based in Leicester, UK, owns and operates a chain of jewellery and watches stores in the country. Its portfolio includes the Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths brands.

The company was initially created by bankrupt Icelandic investor Baugur Group, which acquired and merged the UK high street jewellery stores under the Aurum name.

As part of Apollo, Aurum will be in a position to benefit from its retail industry expertise, resources and capabilities across the leisure and commodities sectors, the target’s CEO Justin Stead said.

The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. Apollo took counsel from DC Advisory in connection with the transaction.