Jos. A. Bank Shareholders Like How Men’s Wearhouse Takeover Bid Looks, Sues Board

We can’t help it: we really miss Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmer and his “you’re gonna like the way you look; I guarantee it!” commercials, and are compelled to make headline jokes about him. Yet since his ouster, it’s been interesting to watch dueling big-box menswear chains Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse circle each other in a strange acquisition mating ritual. Each company wants to acquire the other, you see, and one major investor has had enough.That investor is Eminence Capital LLC, a hedge fund that owns about 5% of the company’s shares. It just happens that Eminence also owns about 10% of Men’s Wearhouse shares. What a coincidence!

You might remember the most recent bid that Men’s Wearhouse made for the smaller company. The board of Jos. A. Bank refuses to discuss the offer, and the leadership of Eminence thinks that it should.

A merger would make sense, with two similar retailers that serve similar markets joining forces. The CEO of Eminence Capital estimates that a merger could save about $2 billion per year, though it would be less great for competitors and consumers. It would be pretty great for shareholders, though. Like Eminence Capital. That’s why the firm filed suit against the Jos. A. Bank board for refusing to discuss the bid, and for making changes to make it harder for one investor to take control of the company.

Jos. A. Bank Board Sued for Rebuffing Men’s Wearhouse Offer [Bloomberg Businessweek]