Men's Wearhouse rejects Jos. A. Bank's latest bid

Houston-based apparel retailer denies Hampstead-based Bank access to nonpublic company information

November 04, 2013|By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun

Men's Wearhouse rejected Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.'s latest effort to acquire it, denying the Hampstead-based retailer's request to review nonpublic company information.

The board of Houston-based Men's Wearhouse decided that providing such access is not in its shareholders' best interest, the company announced Monday. It rejected Bank's $2.3 billion acquisition offer in October, saying it undervalued the men's apparel chain.

"We are enthusiastic about Men's Wearhouse's prospects and are confident that our strategic plan will deliver more value to our shareholders than Jos. A. Bank's inadequate, highly conditional proposal," said Douglas S. Ewert, CEO, president and a director, in a statement.

Bank said last week it would consider sweetening its $48 per share proposal if it could conduct due diligence to better understand why Men's Wearhouse could be worth more. It gave its rival two weeks to enter talks before it will walk away.

Bank expressed disappointment Monday with the Men's Wearhouse response.

"Their board's position is a matter for consideration by the shareholders of Men's Wearhouse," said Robert N. Wildrick, Bank's chairman. "For our part, we stand by our previous statement and will keep our proposal open until November 14."

Shares of both companies fell on Monday, with Jos. A Bank down 25 cents to close at $47.71 per share and Men's Wearhouse down $1.20 to $42.14 per share.

One merger and acquisition expert said it came as no surprise that Men's Wearhouse won't cooperate.

"Management of Men's Wearhouse opposes the takeover because it could cost them their jobs," said Jerry Reisman, a partner in New York firm Reisman Peirez Reisman & Capobianco. "Also, they question the debt that will be created to finance the new company, which could ultimately adversely impact on the continued success and growth of the company."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.