Men's Wearhouse shareholder hires adviser to help push for talks with Jos. A. Bank

The largest shareholder of The Men's Wearhouse Inc. is once again calling for the retailer to resume merger talks with Hampstead-based Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. and hired a strategic adviser to help the effort.

Eminence Capital LLC, which owns 9.8 percent of Men's Wearhouse common stock, had called last Friday for a special shareholders meeting to consider removing Men's Wearhouse board members after the Houston-based chain failed to respond to Jos. Bank's acquisition bid of $2.3 billion, or $48 per share, by a deadline. Bank dropped the bid, which Men's Wearhouse had previously rejected, but left the door open for future merger talks.

Eminence released a shareholder presentation Wednesday titled "You're Going to Like the Way This Looks," and said it hired adviser Moelis & Co. Eminence said it did not invest in Men's Wearhouse to agitate for change but recognized Bank's offer as a "compelling opportunity."

"The value creation from this combination is massive with a potential for $2 billion of value to be created from a combination of cost savings, revenue synergies and multiple expansions," Eminence said in the report.

Eminence said it agrees with Men's Wearhouse that Bank's preliminary offer was inadequate, but noted that Bank has offered to consider sweeting the proposal if it can review Men's Wearhouse non-public company information.

A spokesman for Men's Wearhouse could not be reached on Wednesday. The retailer's shares fell 33 cents on Wednesday to close at $46.38 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Jos. Bank rose 32 cents, closing at $49.96 on the Nasdaq.

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