Bruce Kennedy, Benzinga Staff Writer
It appears that, after months of posturing and an on-going war of words, Men's Wearhouse (MW) and Jos. A Bank Clothiers (JOSB) have announced a deal.
In a joint press release issued Tuesday, Men's Wearhouse said it will acquire Jos. A. Bank for for $65.00 per share in cash, or approximately $1.8 billion. Both company's boards of directors reportedly approved the agreement unanimously.
Once combined, the two retailers will have more than 1,700 U.S. stores, with around 23,000 employees and anticipated sales of $3.5 billion.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Jos. A. Bank, which we believe will deliver substantial benefits to our respective shareholders, employees and customers," Doug Ewert, Men's Wearhouse president and CEO, said in the statement.
"Together, Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank will have increased scale and breadth,” he continued, “and Jos. A. Bank's strong brand and complementary business model will broaden our customer reach. We expect the transaction will be accretive to Men's Wearhouse's earnings in the first full year.”
The merger should bring to a close months of headline-grabbing maneuvering and sniping between the two companies.
The soap opera began last June, when Men's Wearhouse abruptly fired its founder, CEO and chief spokesman George Zimmer – for allegedly not working with the company's new management and demanding veto power on key corporate decisions.
Jos. A Bank then offered to buy up its larger rival in an unsolicited bid in September, reportedly worth $2.4 billion. When the offer was turned down, the company called the Men's Wearhouse reponse “inexplicable,” and a “formulaic, knee-jerk rejection.”
Several weeks later, Men's Wearhouse returned the favor, making a retaliatory and ultimately unsuccessful, $1.6 billion bid on Jos. A Bank.
But now, with the merger battle finally over, "It's a second Christmas for Jos. A. Bank shareholders," Jerry Reisman, an M&A expert at law firm Reisman Peirez Reisman and Capobianco LLP, told Reuters.
The wire service also says Jos. A. Bank is ending its recently-announced plan to purchase outdoor retailer Eddie Bauer, in a cash and stock deal valued at $825 million.