Jos A Bank chairman sees strong investor support for Men's Wearhouse bid

Reuters

By Olivia Oran

Oct 16 (Reuters) - U.S. apparel retailer Jos A. BankClothiers Inc has received support for its $2.3 billiontakeover bid for Men's Wearhouse Inc from the majority ofthe shareholders with big stakes in both companies, Jos A. Bankchairman Robert Wildrick said in an interview on Wednesday.

Several of Jos A. Bank's top four shareholders, includingFidelity, Royce & Associates and Wellington Management, are alsotop 30 shareholders in Men's Wearhouse, according to ThomsonReuters data as of June 30.

This overlap is crucial as Jos A. Bank tries to buildsupport for its unsolicited offer, which has been rejected byMen's Wearhouse as undervaluing the company.

"We have spoken to a majority of the cross-shareholders, andthey are strongly in favor of the proposal," Wildrick said. "Infact, none of the shareholders we have spoken with are opposedto it."

Jos A. Bank last week proposed a $48 per share all-cashoffer, a 36 percent premium, to acquire Men's Wearhouse.

Men's Wearhouse then adopted a poison pill, or shareholderrights plan, that would prevent new shareholders from holding asizable chunk of the company's shares.

Men's Wearhouse last month bought designer brand JosephAbboud for about $97.5 million. The company said that deal,along with its expansion of full service stores, outlet storesand its share of the formalwear market, would lift its sharesmore than an acquisition by Jos A. Bank would.

Jos. A. Bank is a 100-year-old seller of men's tailored andcasual clothing at over 600 stores, according to its website.Men's Wearhouse was founded in 1973 and sells discount suits atits 1,137 stores, according to its website.

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