Jos. A. Bank moving headquarters to Carroll County

March 21, 1991|By Kevin Thomas | Kevin Thomas,Evening Sun Staff

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. has decided to move out of its current corporate headquarters in Owings Mills by July 1 and into its distribution center in Hampstead, in Carroll County.

Bank's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Timothy F. Finley said the move is a cost saving measure in line with the company's efforts to restructure.

Finley would not say how much the company would save as a result of the move, but said the amount is significant.

Bank, which operates a chain of 40 retail stores in 27 cities, leases 54,000 square feet of space at McDonogh Crossroads on Reisterstown Road, but owns the Hampstead distribution center.

"It [the move] makes a lot of difference because we were paying a significant amount of rent at the Owings Mills building," Finley said. "I was lucky because we didn't have to go into bankruptcy to break the lease."

Robert J. Aumiller, executive vice president of MacKenzie & Associates, developer of McDonogh Crossroads, said Bank was released from its lease earlier this year and the parting between MacKenzie and Bank has been amicable.

Finley said that approximately 140 employees at Bank headquarters will be transferred to Hampstead.

He said the Hampstead location is "not great," but will have no effect on the company's image.

Bank is currently restructuring its debt. The company last week announced it had reached an agreement between its bondholders, stockholders and senior lender to turn over a majority stake in the company to bondholders.

Bank is struggling under $70 million in debt as a result of a 1986 leveraged buyout. The company was close to filing for Chapter 11 reorganization when bondholders agreed in principal to swap their bonds for preferred and common stock.

With the debt-for-equity swap, the company will be servicing about $25 to $30 million in debt, which Finley has said is manageable.

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