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Latest mergers and acquisitions: Men's Warehouse, Jos. A. Bank

Georgia fans of Men's Warehouse may be pleased to know that the company emerged the victor in a battle with Jos. A. Bank to determine which company would become the country's fourth largest men's clothier. As mergers and acquisitions go, this one was more of a dispute. Five months ago, the two companies began by trying to outbid each other to determine which company would be the surviving entity.

It began when Jos. A. Bank offered to purchase Men's Warehouse for somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.3 billion last October. When Men's Warehouse turned down the officer, Jos. A. Bank offered to increase the price if the company's books were turned over for examination. Instead of allowing Jos. A. Bank a look at the company's finances, Men's Warehouse countered with an offer of its own. From November to present, the offer from Men's Warehouse to purchase Jos. A. Bank went from $1.5 billion to a final price of $1.8 billion, which Jos. A. Bank accepted.

During negotiations, Jos. A. Bank toyed with the idea of acquiring Eddie Bauer. That acquisition was terminated as part of the agreement with Men's Warehouse. Since both clothing stores are in some malls, Men's Warehouse achieves some cost savings by closing what will become duplicate stores once the merger is complete.

As with many mergers and acquisitions, a few obstacles are expected in the first year or so. The particulars of the merger are not available at this time, but most likely numerous legal and business steps to be taken before the deal is considered final. Georgia businesses that have been part of a merger or acquisition understand that knowledge of the intricacies of the process is invaluable in ensuring everything goes smoothly and nothing is forgotten that could become a problem later.

Source: Reuters, Men's Wearhouse stitches up deal to buy Jos. A. Bank, Siddharth Cavale and Olivia Oran, March 11, 2014

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