A buy-out team at clothing manufacturer Dewhirst has still not acquired enough shares to enable it to take complete ownership of the company.

Under Stock Market rules, the team needs to acquire 90 per cent of the shareholding to enable it to take compulsory control of the remaining 10 per cent of the stock. By the end of the initial deadline on August 9, the team had secured 74.18 per cent of the shareholding. Now, after the team extended the deadline, it has gained 80.66 per cent of the stock - still short of the 90 per cent figure it is seeking.

The buy-out deal has been put together by Dewhirst family members and other directors of the company. A key backer is internet entrepreneur Peter Wilkinson, who has made an estimated £400 million from creating and selling technology companies. He is investing £15 million in the Dewhirst's deal.

The buy-out offer of 85p per share values the company at £112.7 million and was recommended to shareholders by independent directors of the group. They expect the company's disappointing stock market performance to continue - largely because of the company's reliance on Marks and Spencer. Some 86 per cent of Dewhirst's turnover is dependent on the high street giant. They are also worried about further rationalisation in the UK clothing industry and low investor interest in small quoted UK textile firms.

A spokesman for the company today confirmed that Kirkgate Group Ltd - the company set up by the buy-out team - had still not achieved 90 per cent control, although he said the team was now effectively running the company.

"The important thing is that the team is now in control of the company," he said. "The remaining shareholders can now see that is the case. The offer remains open and we expect that they will now decide to take it up."

By Clive Hinchliffe.