Hostess Brands close to announcing buyer for Twinkies

Shoppers started buying up every last box of Hostess Brands' snack cakes after the company announced it was going out of business in November.</p>

Shoppers started buying up every last box of Hostess Brands' snack cakes after the company announced it was going out of business in November.

Twinkie fans can relax.

Hostess Brands is expected to announce as early as Tuesday that it has found a buyer for the famous cream-filled sponge cake and other cake brands.

The Wall Street Journal – citing people in the know – reported private equity firms Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co were close to sealing a $400 million deal with Hostess.

The “stalking horse” bid would serve as a floor price in a coming bankruptcy court auction for Hostess’ cake assets, the Associated Press reported.

Other prospective buyers will have the chance to lodge higher bids.

The Los Angeles Times described Hostess’ cake brands as the “crown jewel” in the company’s assets.

Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year ago and in November was given the go-ahead to wind down its operations after talks with the striking bakers union broke down.

Earlier this month, Hostess agreed to offload a large slice of its bread holdings to Flowers Food for $360 million, the New York Times reported.

Flowers Food will also be a "stalking horse" bidder at an auction beginning February 28.