Business

Men's Wearhouse rejects takeover bid from Jos. A. Bank

Men’s Wearhouse Inc. has a suitor who wants to pay $2.3 billion to take over the retailer, but the menswear company is having none of it.

Saying that the bid from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. “significantly undervalues” the chain, Men’s Wearhouse rejected the nonbinding proposal Wednesday.

Hampstead, Md,-based Jos. A. Bank said in a statement that it had made its offer on Sept, 18, several months after Men’s Wearhouse removed its founder and longtime spokesman, George Zimmer, as executive chairman.

Acquiring Men’s Wearhouse for $48 a share — a 42% premium above the retailer’s closing price on Sept. 17 — would have made Jos. A. Bank the top designer, manufacturer and retailer of menswear in the country.

The offer price is 36% higher than Men’s Wearhouse’s closing price Tuesday.

Calling the two companies “ideal partners” in a letter to Men’s Wearhouse Chief Executive Doug Ewert, Jos. A. Bank Chairman Robert Wildrick said a union could “offer a larger platform from which we can together optimize and expand our real estate footprint, strengthen our merchandising and sourcing capabilities and enhance our omni-channel strategies in a rapidly evolving retail landscape.”

Men’s Wearhouse said it has pulled in about $2.5 billion in revenue in the past year — more than twice that of Jos. A. Bank — and leads the men’s specialty apparel market. The retailer, which has offices in Houston and Fremont, Calif., said it has enjoyed 13 straight quarters of positive same-store sales growth in its core business while Jos. A. Bank has suffered three consecutive quarters of revenue declines.

Though Men’s Wearhouse stock suffered a 12% slide after “challenging” second-quarter results were announced, the company blamed “difficult market conditions” and called the plunge a “temporary dislocation.”

In a statement, the retailer’s lead director, Bill Sechrest, said the unsolicited proposal was “opportunistic, subject to unacceptable risks and contingencies and would deprive our shareholders of the value inherent in Men's Wearhouse for inadequate consideration." 

Both companies' stock got a boost Wednesday after the bid was disclosed. Men’s Wearhouse stock rose $10.03, or 28.5%, to $45.27 a share in midsession trading in New York. Jos. A. Bank was up $3.01, or $7.2%, to $44.67 a share.

ALSO:

Men's Wearhouse fires founder George Zimmer

Post-Zimmer, Men's Wearhouse buys Joseph Abboud

Men's Wearhouse: Zimmer tried power grab, privatizing before firing

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