Economy

Jos A Bank drops $2.3B bid for Men's Wearhouse

HAMPSTEAD, Md. (AP) — Jos. A. Bank withdrew its $2.3 billion offer to buy rival Men's Wearhouse.

Jos. A. Bank made an unsolicited offer of $48 per share for Men's Wearhouse Inc. in September. Men's Wearhouse rejected the bid in October, calling it "opportunistic" and "inadequate." In late October, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. announced that it would terminate its bid by Nov. 14 if there continued to be no discussions on the proposal. The company says it still believes that a deal could be in the best interest of both companies' shareholders.

An email was sent and a voicemail left seeking comment from Men's Wearhouse. Jos. A. Bank had previously said it would be open to raising its offer if allowed to assess whether an increased bid is justified. But Men's Wearhouse wouldn't give the company access to nonpublic information.

On Friday Jos. A. Bank said that if the board of Men's Wearhouse decides in the future that it wants to discuss a potential acquisition, or if circumstances otherwise change, that it may consider whether a new bid for its rival is warranted. Jos. A. Bank is moving forward with considering other strategic options that it has been investigating.

Eminence Capital LLC, Men's Wearhouse's biggest stockholder, said in a statement that it was disappointed that the company has yet to have acquisition-related talks with Jos. A. Bank. Eminence said that it made a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to potentially call a special meeting of Men's Wearhouse shareholders to vote on some bylaw amendments. Eminence Capital said that if the amendments are approved it would allow stockholders to remove Men's Wearhouse board members without cause before the next annual shareholders meeting.

Jos. A. Bank said in a statement that "this is a matter between the Men's Wearhouse board and its shareholders." Jos. A. Bank sells men's tailored and casual clothing, sportswear and footwear. While it targets a more established male professional, it's known for generous promotions like buying one suit or sport coat and getting three for free.

Men's Wearhouse sells men's sportswear and suits through its namesake chain of stores, as well as the Moores and K&G retail chains. Recently, the Houston company has been going after younger shoppers with suits featuring slimmer silhouettes. It's also trying to raise the average ticket price and announced in July that it's buying the upscale Joseph Abboud brand for about $97.5 million in cash.

Shares of Men's Wearhouse gained 32 cents to $46.44 in morning trading Friday, while Jos. A. Bank's stock added 36 cents to $50.67.

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