January 6, 2014, 4:07 PM

Men’s Wearhouse offers $1.6 billion for Jos. A. Bank

Men’s Wearhouse upped its bid today to about $1.6 billion to acquire all outstanding shares of Jos. A. Bank for $57.50 per share compared to a bid of $55 per share in November.

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When it comes to acquiring Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. won’t take no for an answer.

After taking about five weeks to consider the deal, Jos. A. Bank, No. 191 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide on Dec. 23 rejected an offer valued at $1.2 billion to be acquired by The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. (No. 294).

This morning Men’s Wearhouse upped its bid to about $1.6 billion to acquire all outstanding shares of Jos. A. Bank for $57.50 per share, compared to a bid of $55 per share in November. Jos. A. Bank considers the latest offer from Men’s Wearhouse to be a hostile takeover

“In light of the hostile actions from Men’s Wearhouse the board felt it appropriate to protect shareholders by triggering the same ownership threshold as that of the Men’s Wearhouse rights agreement,” Jos. A. Bank says.

For its part Men’s Wearhouse is appealing directly to Jos. A. Bank shareholders to approve the deal and has nominated two new directors, former Miller Brewing Co. CEO John Bowlin and Macy’s East CEO Arthur Reiner, to run independently for seats on the Jos. A. Bank board of directors. “Our $57.50 per share proposal to acquire Jos. A. Bank is compelling and provides substantial value and immediate liquidity to Jos. A. Bank shareholders,” says Men’s Wearhouse CEO Doug Ewert. “Although we have made clear our strong preference to work collaboratively with Jos. A. Bank to realize the benefits of this transaction, we are committed to this combination and, accordingly, we are taking our offer directly to shareholders.”

Men’s Wearhouse says its current offer is good until March 28. Jos. A. Bank says it will make another recommendation to shareholders by Jan. 17.

If the two retail chains ultimately merge, the result would be been a combined e-commerce operation with annual web sales of about $160 million, according to the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, and combined monthly visits of 3.6 million and monthly unique visitors of 1.4 million, according to web site measurement firm Compete Inc.

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