BALTIMORE - Firing another shot in its attempt to buy Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. said Thursday it would consider boosting its $2.3 billion offer to buy its rival.
BALTIMORE — Firing another shot in its attempt to buy Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. said Thursday it would consider boosting its $2.3 billion offer to buy its rival.
Hampstead, Md.-based Jos. A. Bank said it might offer more than $48 per share if given a chance to conduct a limited review of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. to find out whether a price increase would be justified. In a letter to Men’s Wearhouse CEO Douglas S. Ewert, Bank said it will withdraw its proposal if the Men’s Wearhouse board has not entered into good-faith talks with Jos. Bank by Nov. 14.
“Our evaluation of Men’s Wearhouse was necessarily based solely on publicly available information,” Jos. A. Bank Chairman Robert N. Wildrick wrote in the letter. “We believe that if we were provided with access to a limited amount of non-public information we could promptly determine whether we could increase our proposed acquisition price.”
A spokesman for Men’s Wearhouse could not immediately be reached for comment.
Jos. A. Bank made the initial offer Sept. 18 at a 42 percent premium to the previous day’s closing price of Men’s Wearhouse stock. Men’s Wearhouse rejected the offer after it became public earlier this month, saying it significantly undervalues the retailer and its growth potential.
In the letter, Jos. A. Bank noted it believes its standing offer would benefit shareholders, compared to an “uncertain” value of a long-term plan Men’s Wearhouse issued earlier this week.
That plan, part of an investor update, compared the proposed merger to plans for Men’s Wearhouse as an independent public company.
“You went to great lengths to disparage Jos. A. Bank, pointing out the relative size of the companies (yes, we are smaller), suggesting our proposal was opportunistic (yes, we agree it is a great opportunity), and suggesting that our financing is not credible,” Wildrick said in the letter.
Jos. A. Bank wants to merge its more than 600 stores with the Men’s Wearhouse chain, which has about 1,140 stores, and create a $3.5 billion men’s tailored apparel giant. The deal would be funded with a mix of cash on hand, debt and a new $250 million investment from Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco private equity firm that specializes in retailers and restaurant chains.
Wildrick said it’s “obvious” that Men’s Wearhouse shareholders support the proposal, based on the increased stock price since it became public, but “your board has refused to discuss the proposal with us.”
Jos. A. Bank’s latest volley comes on the heels of reports that Men’s Wearhouse is eyeing an acquisition of upscale shoe manufacturer Allen Edmonds.
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