CHICAGO Feb 1 Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc
is in talks to buy retailer Eddie Bauer Inc
from private equity owner Golden Gate Capital, according to a
source familiar with the talks.
The source, who asked not to be named, did not reveal
details about the talks.
Jos. A. Bank has been involved in a prolonged and nasty
struggle with rival retailer Men's Wearhouse Inc, with
each making overtures to buy the other. The Wall Street Journal
reported the talks between Jos. A. Bank and Eddie Bauer earlier
Last week, Men's Wearhouse Inc said it was open to
sweetening its spurned buyout offer for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers
Inc - under certain conditions. Men's Wearhouse called
on independent directors of the smaller men's clothing chain to
reconsider its bid.
Men's Wearhouse took a revised offer to Jos. A. Bank
shareholders in early January. In December, its rival rejected
an offer of $55 per share.
Jos. A. Bank has urged shareholders to reject the hostile
bid, calling it inadequate and opportunistic.
Jos. A. Bank offered to acquire Men's Wearhouse in October,
a deal backed by Golden Gate.