Branded apparel group Kellwood Company has extended the deadline for its US$60m debt tender offer following private equity group Sun Capital's unsolicited $762m takeover bid.

Sun Capital decided to take its bid direct to Kellwood's stock holders last week, after seeing its approach rebuffed twice by the company.

It had earlier opposed Kellwood's $60m tender offer, saying that its bid of $21.00 per share would be reduced to $19.50 if Kellwood did not abandon the offer.

Now Kellwood has extended the deadline for the tender offer to 5pm New York time on 30 January, enabling it to consider the Sun Capital bid more fully.

"The company is extending this date given the unsolicited two-tiered tender offer made by an affiliate of Sun Capital Securities Group, which the company will respond to on 29 January 2008," said Kellwood.

"When the company responds to Sun Capital's unsolicited two-tiered offer, it will also announce further actions, if any, it intends to take with respect to the debt tender offer."

Sun Capital has also said that, if no agreement is reached with Kellwood soon, it will nominate its own directors for election to Kellwood's board at the company's annual stockholders' meeting.