Eminence wants Jos. A Bank to engage in sale talks

Eminence Capital urges Jos. A. Bank to take part in acquisition walks with Men's Wearhouse

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jos. A. Bank shareholder Eminence Capital LLC said Monday that it supports Men's Wearhouse's proposed acquisition of the company and demanded that Jos. A. Bank's board try to negotiate a deal.

Eminence, which owns a 4.9 percent stake in Jos. A. Bank, said in a letter to the company's board that it wants the retailer to sit down with The Men's Wearhouse Inc. and engage in "meaningful, good faith negotiations" with the intent of reaching a deal that could benefit Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.'s shareholders.

Efforts to combine the two men's clothing companies has dragged on for months, with each chain having their offer to acquire the other rebuffed. Most recently, Men's Wearhouse last week boosted its offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank to $1.61 billion, or $57.50 per share.

In its Monday letter, Eminence demanded that the board take no action that could jeopardize a possible deal.

Eminence also said it will file a complaint with the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware over Jos. A. Bank's refusal to negotiate and to bar the company from attempting to prevent any acquisition by Men's Wearhouse by pursuing another deal.

A spokeswoman for Hampstead, Md.-based Jos. A. Bank declined comment on the letter.

In afternoon trading, Jos. A. Bank shares slipped 5 cents to $55.96 while Men's Wearhouse shares lost 86 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $50.22.

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