Men’s Wearhouse Raises Jos. A. Bank Bid

by Harry Sheff

Men's WearhouseMen’s Wearhouse says it will raise its offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank to $63.50 per share—perhaps even $65 per share—if the rival menswear retailer will halt its acquisition of Eddie Bauer.

The last offer Men’s Wearhouse made for Jos. A. Bank was $57.50 per share in early January; weeks later CEO Doug Ewert wrote in a letter to Jos. A. Bank’s independent directors that he was prepared to raise the offer. Now he has, and the offer stands until 5pm on March 12.

“We urge the Jos. A. Bank board of directors to immediately engage in negotiations with Men’s Wearhouse so we can capitalize on the opportunity we have to enter into a transaction that creates significant value for shareholders of both companies,” said Ewert in a statement. “We hope the [board] will take the responsible step for Jos. A. Bank shareholders and promptly terminate the Eddie Bauer agreement. We are confident that a transaction with Men’s Wearhouse will create greater value for Jos. A. Bank shareholders than the Eddie Bauer transaction.”

Men’s Wearhouse has also initiated a lawsuit against the Jos. A. Bank and its board, Golden Gate Private Equity, Everest Topco LLC and Everest Holdings LLC. Its complaint is that Bank’s acquisition of Eddie Bauer was part of “a series of unreasonable, shareholder unfriendly and illegal defensive measures designated to thwart the Men’s Wearhouse tender offer, prevent a change of control, pack the board with allies, interfere with the upcoming vote for two directors, and entrench the existing board.”