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From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ralston to Sell Wonder Bread, Twinkie Unit: The Ralston Purina Group said it agreed to sell its Continental Baking Group subsidiary to the baker of Dolly Madison brand snack cakes in a deal worth about $560 million. St. Louis-based Ralston said it will sell Continental to Interstate Bakeries Corp. for $330 million in cash and 16.9 million shares of Interstate, worth about $234 million at current levels. The deal takes Ralston out of the consumer food business and propels Interstate from third place into the top spot among the nation’s wholesale bakers. The deal allows Ralston to concentrate on its more profitable portfolio of pet foods and batteries. The company has spun off businesses ranging from Chex cereal to Beech-Nut baby food to ski resorts.


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