A large shareholder that is pushing Hampstead-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. to negotiate with suitor Men's Wearhouse plans to nominate two company directors at Bank's annual shareholder meeting.

Eminence Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund that owns 4.9 percent of Bank stock and is the largest Men's Wearhouse shareholder, asked a Delaware court Monday to force Jos. Bank to consider the rival chain's $1.61 billion hostile bid and to block Bank from acquiring another retailer to derail the bid.

Eminence plans to nominate to the board two "highly-qualified, retail industry experts who will be committed to maximizing shareholder value," Ricky C. Sandler, Eminence CEO, said Tuesday in a statement.

Sandler said Eminence would withdraw its nominees if a slate submitted by Men's Wearhouse is still in the running at the time of the as-yet-unscheduled annual meeting. Putting in its own directors would ensure that Bank pursues a merger with Men's Wearhouse and help hold directors accountable if they approve an alternate deal before the meeting, Sandler said.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com