Jos. A. Bank Clothiers is walking away from its $2.3 billion bid for Men’s Wearhouse, its archrival in the low- to mid-tier menswear market.
In a letter sent on Friday to Men’s Wearhouse Chief Executive Officer Douglas Ewert (and scads of reporters), Jos. A. Bank Chairman Robert Wildrick said the company was terminating its offer because the Men’s Wearhouse board “failed to engage in any discussions whatsoever regarding our proposal.”
Wildrick went a step further and suggested Men’s Wearhouse directors may have violated their fiduciary duties in refusing to sit down for a powwow, particularly after Jos. A. Bank said at the end of October that it might be willing to increase its offer.
Still, Wildrick left the door open for a deal, saying his team may consider another proposal in the future. “We continue to believe that a transaction between our two companies could be in the best interest of our respective shareholders,” he wrote.
Men’s Wearhouse, though less profitable than Jos. A. Bank in recent years, could not have seemed less interested. Shortly after it dismissed the initial bid for drastically undervaluing its business, the company cooked up a poison pill to keep Jos. A. Bank’s advances in check.
The corporate courting, however, helped it cut a sharper figure on Wall Street. Men’s Wearhouse shares have surged almost 40 percent since the initial offer was sent on Sept. 18.