Jos. A. Bank says the latest bid by The Men's Wearhouse needs alteration.
Bank told Men's Wearhouse CEO Douglas Ewert Thursday that a $63.50 a share offer for the company is too low, but opened the door to meeting with management to discuss a bid more suited to shareholders.
The budget-minded men's retailers have been exchanging relatively macho merger proposals since Jos. A Bank made an unsolicited, $48 a share bid for Men's Wearhouse last October, premium of more than 35% to the then $35 share price.
Men's Warehouse rejected the bid, then countered, offering to buy Bank for $55, then raised the offer to $57.50 before sweetening it to $63.50 Feb. 24.
Jos. A Bank shares rose 35 cents to $60.30 Thursday; Men's Warehouse shares closed up 1.5% to $50.42.
In an effort to remain independent, Jos. A. Bank offered to buy retailer Eddie Bauer earlier this month for $825 million. In its Thursday letter to Ewert, Bank's board says it would be amenable to a meeting to discuss the highest price Men's Wearhouse is prepared to pay for the company.
The current bid is "inadequate, after giving effect to the Eddie Bauer acquisition and related issuer tender offer, and not in the best interests of Jos. A. Bank stockholders,'' Bank says.
Securities & Exchange filings by both companies says Men's Wearhouse indicated earlier this week that it could raise its bid to $65 per share if its allowed to conduct some limited due diligence.