After a five-month pursuit, Sun Capital Securities Group LLC now has 81.9 percent of Kellwood Co.’s total outstanding shares, giving it ownership of the struggling St. Louis-based vendor.

This story first appeared in the February 14, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The private equity firm, which first expressed interest in buying Kellwood last September for $762 million in cash, has set up an offering period to buy the remaining stock by the end of the week for the same $21-a-share price.

As of Tuesday night’s tender offer expiration, about 15.8 million Kellwood shares, or 70.5 percent, had been tendered, adding to Sun Capital’s existing 11.4 percent stake. Sun Capital said shareholders have promised to tender an additional 8 percent of shares by the end of the week, and that all shares delivered by Friday night’s deadline will be paid for promptly in cash.

After expiration of this second offering, each share not previously purchased in the tender offer will be converted to receive the same $21, subject to appraisal rights.

Kellwood will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardinal Integrated, the part of Sun Capital that took over the vendor, and Kellwood’s common stock will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Neither Sun nor Kellwood officials could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Kellwood’s stock closed at $21.01