Men's Wearhouse won't give Jos A Bank access to nonpublic information that it requested

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Men’s Wearhouse said Monday that it won’t give rival Jos. A Bank access to nonpublic information that it could use to assess whether to potentially raise its $2.3 billion buyout offer.

Shares of both companies fell in afternoon trading.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., based in Hampstead, Md., said in a statement it was “disappointed” that its request for information was turned down and reaffirmed that it would drop its offer if “good faith discussions” are not held by Nov. 14. It had said on Thursday it would consider boosting its bid if allowed access to nonpublic information.

Jos. A. Bank made its unsolicited offer of $48 per share for Men’s Wearhouse in September, and the following month Men’s Wearhouse rejected the bid, calling it “opportunistic” and “inadequate.”

On Monday, Men’s Wearhouse Inc. said its board met with external financial and legal advisers and determined with them that it wasn’t in its shareholders’ best interest to give Jos. A Bank access to the information.

Houston-based Men’s Wearhouse maintains that Jos. A. Bank’s $48 per-share offer significantly undervalues its business.

“We are enthusiastic about Men’s Wearhouse’s prospects and are confident that our strategic plan will deliver more value to our shareholders than Jos. A. Bank’s inadequate, highly conditional proposal,” Men’s Wearhouse President and CEO Douglas Ewert said in a statement.

Jos. A. Bank sells men’s tailored and casual clothing, sportswear and footwear. While it targets a more established male professional, it’s known for generous promotions like buying one suit or sport coat and getting three for free.

Men’s Wearhouse sells men’s sportswear and suits through its namesake chain of stores, as well as the Moores and K&G retail chains. Recently, it’s been going after younger shoppers with suits featuring slimmer silhouettes. It’s also trying to raise the average ticket price and announced in July that it’s buying upscale Joseph Abboud brand for about $97.5 million in cash.

Shares of Men’s Wearhouse dropped $1.27, or nearly 3 per cent, to $42.07 in afternoon trading. Jos. A. Bank’s stock declined 28 cents to $47.68.