RPT-UPDATE 1-Jos. A. Bank says no benefit in commencing negotiations with Men's Wearhouse

Sun Feb 2, 2014 4:12pm EST

NEW YORK Feb 2 (Reuters) - Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc on Sunday rejected yet another offer by rival Men's Wearhouse Inc, the latest in a prolonged acquisition battle between the two men's clothing retailers.

In response to Men's Wearhouse offer last week that it is open to sweetening its spurned buyout offer under certain conditions, Jos. A. Bank said the proposal was still undervaluing the company.

"After carefully reviewing your offer with our financial and legal advisors, we continue to believe that your offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank substantially undervalues our company and that your proposal is not in the best interests of our stockholders," said the letter to Douglas Ewert, president of Men's Wearhouse.

"Accordingly, we see no benefit in commencing negotiations with Men's Wearhouse."

In a letter to Jos. A. Bank's independent directors on Thursday, Men's Wearhouse said it could raise an offer of $1.61 billion, or $57.50 per share, "if additional value was discovered through discussions or limited due diligence."

The stock closed Friday at $56.22 per share; Men's Wearhouse shares ended at $48.04.

Jos. A. Bank was said to be in talks buy retailer Eddie Bauer Inc from private equity owner Golden Gate Capital, according to a source familiar with the talks on Saturday.

Jos. A. Bank has been involved in a prolonged and nasty struggle with Men's Wearhouse, with each making overtures to buy the other. Jos. A. Bank has urged shareholders to reject the hostile bid, calling it inadequate and opportunistic.

Men's Wearhouse took a revised offer to Jos. A. Bank shareholders in early January after its rival rejected an offer of $55 per share in December.

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