Jos. A. Bank Scoops Up Eddie Bauer, Putting Men's Wearhouse Deal on Ice
There’s quite a kerfuffle in the mid-priced, basic menswear arena.
But as Jos. A. Bank says, it has wanted to buy Eddie Bauer for a long time.
"We have long admired the Eddie Bauer brand and its widespread appeal among those with active lifestyles and excitement about the outdoors, a large and growing customer base that overlaps significantly with ours,” said Robert N. Wildrick, Chairman of Jos. A. Bank., in a joint statement released today.
The deal is based on an $825 million valuation of Everest Topco, the parent company of Eddie Bauer, and includes $564 million in cash and the rest in stock, according to the statement.
The Eddie Bauer brand, which launched in 1920 in Seattle, focuses more on outdoor, casual gear, while Jos A. Bank, which was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in a small town north of Baltimore, is more known for its office attire. There are 370 Eddie Bauer stores throughout the United States, Canada and Japan and there are 629 Jos A. Bank stores in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
“With this transaction, two historic 20th century American apparel brands, dedicated to quality, which have been serving different lifestyle aspects of a demographically similar family of customers, now combine to leverage their legacies and their strengths,” said Neal Black, CEO of Jos. A. Bank, in the statement.
As the ink dries on the Eddie Bauer deal, Jos. A. Banks’ suitor, Men’s Wearhouse, says it will need to take a pause and assess the new situation.
“The Board of Directors of Men's Wearhouse, together with its financial and legal advisors, will evaluate Men's Wearhouse's options with respect to Jos. A. Bank,” the Fremont, Calif.-based retail chain said in a statement, also released today. Men’s Wearhouse has 1,133 stores and was founded in 1973.
Men’s Wearhouse had a cash offer on the table from Jan.6, 2014 to March 28 to buy all outstanding shares of Jos. A. Bank for $57.50 per share.
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.