A bankruptcy judge has approved a request by Hostess to end its operations.
The ruling came Wednesday after the maker of Twinkies failed in last-ditch negotiations to end a strike by its second-largest union.
The judge's decision means Hostess can now layoff all of its 18,000 workers and sell off its brands.
Earlier this week, the judge ordered the company and its union into mediation to try to resolve their differences.
In court Wednesday, Hostess said it needed to begin the liquidation process quickly to take advantage of outside interest in its brands, which a banker said could fetch up to $2.4 billion.