A fractious battle between two menswear giants reached a truce March 11 when Men's Wearhouse announced it is acquiring rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers for about $1.8 billion. The announcement ended a five-month saga that started when Jos. A. Bank offered to buy Men's Wearhouse — which has corporate offices in Houston and Fremont, California — soon after Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer was pushed out of the company.
The bidding went back and forth between the two rivals; at one point, Jos. A. Bank said it planned to acquire clothing brand Eddie Bauer in a bid to stay independent. Men's Wearhouse brought the clothing war to a conclusion with an offer price of $65 per share, considerably more than the Jos. A. Bank stock price when the battle began last October.
The combined operation will create the fourth-largest men's apparel retailer in the United States, with more than 1,700 stores and annual sales of about $3.5 billion. The Associated Press reports that Jos. A. Bank will keep its name and possibly its "buy one suit and get three free" deals.
To reduce costs, Men's Wearhouse is expected to close duplicate stores in the same mall or in free-standing locations close to each other. However, the company has not announced any closings or consolidations.