Men's Wearhouse gets suit against Jos. A. Bank fast-tracked

Men's Wearhouse (NYSE: MW) on Tuesday earned approval in a Delaware court to expedite its request for a hearing on whether it can circumvent the planned acquisition of Eddie Bauer by Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. (NASDAQ: JOSB). Men's Wearhouse maintains that the Eddie Bauer acquisition was a defensive measure by Jos. A. Bank to thwart its own takeover negotiations. 

The hearing to fast track the process was conducted via an hour-long telephone conference Tuesday, just one day after Men's Wearhouse filed the lawsuit. Delaware Chancery Court Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster made the ruling. Laster determined that Men's Wearhouse made a "credible basis for believing that the Eddie Bauer transaction is defensive" and that it was in response to a "hostile bid" according to a court transcript. 

Laster didn't block the Eddie Bauer deal, as Men's Wearhouse requested, but he did order Jos. A. Bank to give Men's Wearhouse 10 days' notice before closing a deal with Eddie Bauer. Jos. A. Bank also must rapidly produce documents related to the acquisition, a request which Jos. A. Bank had fought.

The ruling gives Men's Wearhouse hope that a deal to acquire Jos. A. Bank is still an option for the men's suit retailer that has been engaged in a months-long back-and-forth with its smaller rival. Earlier this week, Men's Wearhouse raised its offer for Jos. A. Bank by 10 percent to about $1.78 billion.

For more:
-See this New York Times article

Related stories:
Men's Wearhouse raises offer for Jos. A. Bank
Jos. A. Bank turns down Men's Wearhouse again, may pursue Eddie Bauer instead
Men's Wearhouse willing to raise bid for Jos. A. Bank
Jos. A. Bank rejects Men's Wearhouse takeover bid
Men's Wearhouse turns tables with offer to buy Jos. A. Bank