Kellwood Co. Sold to Hong Kong Investor Group

As of Thursday, December 22, 2016

After acquiring Kellwood Co. eight years ago for $762 million, Sun Capital Partners has sold the clothing venture to an unnamed Hong Kong investor group.

The purchase, for an undisclosed price, includes Kellwood’s brands such as My Michelle, Jolt, Rewind, Democracy, Sangria, JAX and Briggs New York as well as the XOXO apparel license. Its Vince label was spun off three years ago as a publicly traded company, becoming the first apparel company to go public since Michael Kors made its initial public offering in 2011.

Returning to Kellwood is David Falwell, who has been named the company’s chief executive, replacing Joe Lombardi. Previously, Falwell was the executive vice president of operations at Kellwood until 2013.

Caren Belair will continue as the company’s president, and Xiaopei Chin, who has been with the company for 10 years, has been named president of the Western region, with offices in the City of Industry, Calif.

“Kellwood is one of the leading apparel manufacturers in the United States, with over 50 years of history at the forefront of the apparel industry,” Falwell said. “We believe there is a tremendous growth potential for Kellwood’s businesses, and this acquisition will allow the company to leverage its existing relationships in Asia to grow its businesses and increase profitability.”

Kellwood’s retail partners include major department stores and retail chains such as Kohl’s, Macy’s, JCPenney, Bealls, Target, Dillard’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.

Kellwood Co. was formed in 1961 through the merger of 15 independent suppliers of soft goods to Sears, Roebuck, & Company. The name was derived from the surnames of Sears executives Charles Kellstadt and Robert Wood.

The merger brought together disparate managements and a diverse line of products as well as 7,000 employees, 22 plants and combined sales of more than $86 million.