Why Is Jos. A. Bank Buying Eddie Bauer?

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Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Craig Johnson, president at Customer Growth Partners, discusses how the acquisition of Eddie Bauer fits into the on-going battle between Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Some cynics might say that this is strictly a defensive move.

We think it has some defensive and offensive minded characteristics.

These are two companies that -- jos.

A bank and men's wearhouse that have been like a scorpions mating dance.

A scorpion's mating dance?

That's what happens when two and acquiring candidate tries to acquire the other.

It will be one on top and the scorpion's mating dance, one does not make it afterwards.

There is only one survivor.

At any rate -- how does eddie bauer fit into all this?

What happens is, what has been a one-on-one match is now turning into a multidimensional chess game with jos.

A bank bringing in golden gate capital -- they are the controlling owner of eddie bauer and supported bank with its $250 million equity participation relative to its efforts to acquire men's wearhouse.

Can you tell us a bit about eddie bauer?

How is it been doing?

-- how has it been doing?

We think their challenge -- the spin this morning was that they are in a great turnaround.

Here is a company that is in chapter 11 five years ago.

It is doing better than that.

It has made some improvement.

It had some pretty good early part of the holiday season.

By our count, it is still a bit on the weak side.

It's turnaround is so early that i don't know how great a turnaround it is quite yet.

That being said, there are some potential synergies for these two companies.

They may be able to realize them.

Secondly, bank and men's wearhouse operates in a slower growth part of the apparel market.

Men's and the formal side -- business where.

Power operates in one of the -- eddie bauer participate in activewear and performance where.

They may have their own niches.

They are not exactly exciting companies.

Due to mediocre brands make a strong brand?

Not necessarily.

I would not try call these companies mediocre.

They are doing modestly better, but not any kind of robust turnaround that we have seen yet.

Jos.

A bank is doing ok.

But it is obviously battling back and forth with men's wearhouse.

We characterize it as a multidimensional chess game but it is the two players and then bringing in golden gate to support the original bid for mw.

Now we have eddie bauer and there.

At the same time, the auoffer from bank is a tender offer to buy back 60% of its own showers.

Is there no argument to be made that these three companies should just end alone?

They could all easily stand alone.

Eddie bauer's turnaround which is quite early could be accomplished in its own right.

Golden gate supposedly is not in any rush to monetize its investment from five years ago.

It could do an ipo root if this falls apart.

It is a definitive agreement.

That is a definitive agreement -- they have been abandoned before.

What is men's warehouse's next move?

If you read their release from 45 minutes ago, they are evaluating their options.

That is what they always say.

They could do a counter move in this chess game or they could back out.

We don't expect a timely resolution in any case.

This is going to be a couple more moves before this thing sees the end of the day.

Eddie bauer has the weather on its side.

Greg johnson, thank you so much

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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