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GREEN BAY, WI-The jousting for ShopKo Stores may be over. The retailer’s executives announced that they have accepted an offer from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners to acquire the company for $29 per share, or about $876 million.

ShopKo officials terminated a $27-per-share agreement to be bought by private equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison that was submitted earlier this week. Goldner Hawn was the original bidder in the spring, but Sun Capital stepped in earlier this month with its own offer. Executives expect the latest version of the deal to close in December or January.

According to a company release, Goldner Hawn had also submitted a $29 bid, but ShopKo executives decided to go with Sun Capital based on “financial resources, experience in the retail industry, relationships with the key retailer vendors and other suppliers,” and other reasons.

ShopKo operates 137 of its namesake general merchandise stores, as well as 218 Pamida units, a smaller-format concept in small markets. The retailer’s September sales dropped 4.6%, to $250.7 million, from the same period last year. Its year-over-year same-store sales dropped 4.6% as well.

Boca Raton, FL-based Sun Capital has invested in a number of retail companies. It and Lupert-Adler Partners are partial owners of the 250-store Mervyns chain, which they acquired last year with Cerebus Capital Management and Klaff Partners. Besides Mervyns, Sun Capital has stakes in the 250-restaurant Bruegger’s Bagels, and is majority owner of the 900-store Musicland Group, as well as the 69-unit Rag Shops.

Cleveland-based Developers Diversified, the owner of about 470 shopping centers in North America, was part of a joint-venture group interested in ShopKo in an earlier Sun Capital bid. A spokeswoman for the REIT says that her firm is examining the transaction and could still participate in the deal at a later date. Developers Diversified closed on 32 Mervyns department stores last month for $319.1 million with joint-venture partner Macquarie Bank Ltd.

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