Kellwood Co. is stuck between a fed-up Wall Street and an angry major shareholder — and it must either deliver to the first or risk a hostile takeover by the second in 2008.
Since Sun Capital Securities Group LLC issued — then reissued — a $543 million bid for the St. Louis-based vendor this fall, the second-largest Kellwood shareholder has made it clear it intends to buy the $1.6 billion company despite Kellwood's two flat rejections of the $21 a share offer.
"Our strong preference is to acquire Kellwood in a friendly negotiated transaction," stated a letter issued last month by Jason G. Bernzweig, vice president of Sun Capital, to the Kellwood board, "but we are prepared to take all necessary steps to protect the value of our 9.9 percent ownership position in Kellwood, including making a $21 per share offer directly to Kellwood's other shareholders."
Sun Capital originally made its offer on Sept. 18, and a month later, Kellwood rejected that bid.
Kellwood has stepped up its efforts to persuade investors to have faith in its strategic plan. Robert C. Skinner Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Kellwood, made several promises to shareholders, including that the company would boost organic sales growth to 4 to 5 percent, raise operating margins to 9 percent and grow earnings per share at least 25 percent.
But Sun Capital followed that announcement with a reiteration of its earlier offer, insinuating it did not have faith in Kellwood's execution record. Again, Kellwood turned down the bid.
Last quarter, Kellwood posted a loss from continuing operations of $66.3 million, which prompted a restructuring. Its third-quarter earnings will be released Friday. The stock has been trading between $14 and $19 during this period.
A new Joan Rivers coffee table book, titled “Joan Rivers Confidential,” gives readers never-before-seen photos and letters of the late comedian throughout her life. “Because of her drive to always be fresh, she kept records of every appearance, every performance, all the jokes that were used on TV, all the clothes that were worn,” said Rivers’ daughter Melissa. Here, Rivers poses at the “Tonight Show” in Tracy Mills in 1985. Read more about the book and see more photos at WWD.com. #wwdeye
After a career at New York hot spots like Narcissa, Dovetail and Nix, @chefjfraser has expanded to the West Village with The Loyal, a modernized take on an American brasserie. “And as I’ve gone through my career I’ve felt some departure from that kind of simple, straightforward [cooking]. This is meant to take on the idea of ‘what if the American brasserie was invented today?’” #wwdeye (📷: @chinseephoto)
@bellahadid and @lilyaldridge at @bulgariofficial’s celebration on Friday night, toasting the brand's new Peter Marino-designed flagship on Fifth Avenue. The two-part event included a cocktail party at the store followed by a dinner at a mystery location — the Met Cloisters. #wwdeye
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews