Men’s Wearhouse Inc. raised its bid for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. 10 percent to about $1.78 billion and offered to further increase the price if the target agrees to terminate a separate deal to buy Eddie Bauer.
The offer of $63.50 a share expires March 12, Houston-based Men’s Wearhouse said today in a statement. The bid may increase to $65 a share, or about $1.82 billion, if Jos. A. Bank ends the Eddie Bauer deal and lets Men’s Wearhouse conduct limited due diligence.
Men’s Wearhouse is seeking to end a takeover battle that Jos. A. Bank started in October with its own offer for its larger rival. Men’s Wearhouse turned down that proposal and countered with bids for Jos. A. Bank, including a previous offer of $57.50 a share, which were rejected as too low. Jos. A. Bank earlier this month agreed to buy Eddie Bauer in a deal that may create a company too big for Men’s Wearhouse to acquire.
Tom Davies, a spokesman for Jos. A. Bank with Kekst & Co., didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Jos. A. Bank, based in Hampstead, Maryland, rose as much as 13 percent to $62.45 in early trading after the announcement. The shares had closed at $55.05 in New York on Feb. 21, the most recent trading day. Men’s Wearhouse gained as much as 7.7 percent to $48.59 in early trading.
Men’s Wearhouse also said today that it would consider allowing Jos. A. Bank shareholders to receive a portion of the takeover payment in stock, letting them benefit from share gains of the combined company.
Men’s Wearhouse, a chain with more than 1,100 men’s apparel stores, has said a combination with Jos. A. Bank, which has more than 600 stores, would result in lower costs, a greater reach and better customer service.
Jos. A. Bank has been told by five of its largest shareholders to start talking to its rival about a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. Eminence Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that has an almost 10 percent stake in Men’s Wearhouse and also holds Jos. A. Bank shares, sued Jos. A. Bank directors last month for rejecting the bid and for toughening its anti-takeover defenses.
Men’s Wearhouse also has said it would nominate two directors to Jos. A. Bank’s board.