Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank Deal 'Real Possibility,' Stifel's Jaffe Says

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Shares of Men's Wearhouse (MW) and Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) moved higher on Friday as Stifel analyst Richad Jaffe said a deal between the two menswear retailers could happen.

After meeting with executives of both companies, Jaffe said in a research note that the deal, "while speculative, has the real possibility of being completed longer term and that the benefits to the combined entity could prove significant." 

Based on a takeout basis, Jaffe estimates that Men's Wearhouse could go for $52 a share, higher than Jos. A. Bank's offer of $48 a share. Jaffe does not cover Jos. A. Bank. He rates Men's Wearhouse at a "buy."

Also see: Jos. A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse: You Need Each Other

Men's Wearhouse on Wednesday rejected a $2.3 billion cash takeover offer by Jos. A. Bank, saying that the bid "significantly undervalues" the company and "is not in the best interests of Men's Wearhouse or its shareholders." The deal proposed a takeout offer of $48 a share - a premium of approximately 42% to Men's Wearhouse stock's closing price the day before the offer was sent.

Following the rejection, Jos. A. Bank Chairman Robert Wildrick told the Wall Street Journal that he would continue to press his company's bid, but he was also receptive to a buyout of Jos. A. Bank by Men's Wearhouse with the same 42% proposed premium.

Both companies' stocks surged on the news this week. Men's Wearhouse shares are up 30% since Tuesday, the day before the bid was announced. Jos. A. Bank shares are up 16%. Men's Wearhouse shares were gaining an additional 3.3% to $45.95, at last check. Jos. A. Bank rose 6.2% to $48.19.

During the meeting, Jos. A. Bank management remained "committed to getting a deal done," the Stifel analyst said, underscoring their intent through the hiring of Goldman Sachs and Financo as well as Golden Gate, a leverage buyout firm with meaningful success in the retail space.

On the other hand, Men's Wearhouse is looking at the deal "thoughtfully and methodically with their shareholder's best interest at the forefront," the note said.

"We believe there continues to be a real possibility for a transaction and possibly at a higher price," Jaffe added. "The synergies created and benefits that could be realized following the combination of these two retailers could create significant additional value in the combined entity given the right leadership and effective execution."

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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