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Men’s Wearhouse to attempt hostile takeover of Jos. A. Bank

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BALTIMORE — The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. on Monday launched a $1.6 billion hostile takeover bid for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.

The Houston-based retailer is offering $57.50 cash for each of Jos. A. Bank’s outstanding shares. The cash tender offer expires March 28.

The new bid by Men’s Wearhouse for its Hampstead, Md.-based rival tops its previous $55-per-share offer by $400 million.

“We believe that 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,” Doug Ewert, president and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse, said in a statement. “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.”

The hostile offer follows Jos. A. Bank’s Dec. 23 rejection of Men’s Wearhouse’s earlier bid. Jos. A. Bank started the merger action late last summer with an unsolicited $2.2 billion offer for its larger rival. Men’s Wearhouse spurned that offer.

Analysts anticipate the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 men’s apparel retailers ultimately will merge, with the only question being who is in control. Such a merger would create a stronger chain better able to compete with department stores, they say.

Jos. A. Bank operates more than 600 stores in the United States, while Men’s Wearhouse has more than 1,100 stores under the Men’s Wearhouse, Moores and K&G banners.

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