Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) has confirmed a deal to acquire rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ: JOSB) for about $1.8 billion. The acquisition ends a five-month saga that began in September.
Men's Wearhouse on March 3 announced that it had entered into a non-disclosure agreement with its smaller rival, under which the companies will exchange confidential financial data and hold talks on a possible deal. The company also said Jos. A. Bank has handed over a draft merger agreement. Jos. A. Bank rejected Men's Wearhouse's bid three times before exchanging data.
Jos. A. Bank began the tug-of-war with a hostile bid to acquire Men's Wearhouse back in September. The offer was swiftly rejected, and in a surprise move, Men's Wearhouse turned the tables and began its own acquisition efforts.
The merger talks became even more complicated when Jos. A. Bank agreed to buy retail chain Eddie Bauer for $825 million. Men's Wearhouse filed a lawsuit to block the Eddie Bauer deal, claiming it was a defensive tactic to block its own acquisition talks. Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank combined will have more than 1,700 stores in the U.S., with about 23,000 employees.
-See this Men's Wearhouse press release
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