While neither Men's Wearhouse nor Jos. A. Bank evoke memories of The Grateful Dead, the lyric, "What a long, strange trip it's been," seems appropriate to describe the back and forth that has been going on between the companies since last fall when Jos. A. Bank made an unsolicited bid for Men's Wearhouse. The offer was rejected, as were subsequent bids by Men's Wearhouse to acquire Jos. A. Bank. But all of that complication culminated in news yesterday that Men's Wearhouse will acquire its smaller rival in a deal valued at $1.8 billion.
"Together, Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank will have increased scale and breadth, and Jos. A. Bank's strong brand and complementary business model will broaden our customer reach," said Doug Ewert, president and chief executive officer of Men's Wearhouse.
The companies expect a smooth transition since Jos. A. Bank will retain its name and no store remodels are planned. The retailer said management will consist of "the most qualified individuals from both organizations."
The combined company will have more than 1,700 stores in the U.S with annual sales of $3.5 billion.
One casualty of the merger is Jos. A. Bank's deal to acquire Eddie Bauer. The two companies had agreed on an acquisition valued at $825 million. Jos. A. Bank will pay $48 million to Eddie Bauer's parent company to terminate the agreement.
Will the combined Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank be stronger or weaker than the two companies individually?