FINANCE

Jos. A. Bank rejects Men’s Wearhouse offer

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hampstead, Md. – The board of directors of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. has officially rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from The Men’s Wearhouse. The offer, which expires March 28, 2014, is worth $57.50 per share, or about $1.6 billion.

Jos. A. Bank called the offer “inadequate and opportunistic” in announcing its rejection.

"Our board of directors firmly believes that the Men’s Wearhouse offer is inadequate and significantly undervalues Jos. A. Bank and its near- and long-term potential," said Robert N. Wildrick, chairman of Jos. A. Bank. "Our board and the company’s management team are committed to acting in the best interests of all of our stockholders, and continuing to deliver value for them. At this time, the company has a well-developed strategy in place to continue to increase revenue, substantially improve margins and deliver enhanced returns to stockholders. The Jos. A. Bank board strongly urges stockholders to reject the offer and not tender their shares."

Men’s Wearhouse responded to Jos A. Bank’s announcement on its website, and called for the creation of a special committee to review the offer and begin negotiations.

“We remain committed to this transaction and are prepared to immediately engage in good faith negotiations so we can deliver the compelling value of a combination of our companies to our respective shareholders,” the company said.

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OPERATIONS

Hhgregg offers in-store pickup of Apple products

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – Hhgregg is now offering online ordering with in-store pickup for Apple products, including iPhone, iPad and iPod models and Apple TV devices. Customers can pay in advance and not have to go through in-store checkout.

“With the addition of ordering Apple products to our site, our mobile phone and tablet product offering is now more expansive than ever on Hhgregg.com, adding more choice and convenience for our customers,” said Jeff Pearson, senior VP of marketing for Hhgregg. “Now, customers can order online and easily and conveniently pick up Apple products in-store without waiting at a checkout.”

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FINANCE

FTC removes obstacle to Kroger-Harris-Teeter merger

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR) with respect to the pending merger transaction between The Kroger Co. and Harris-Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. The early termination of the HSR waiting period satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending merger, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions.

Both companies expect the transaction to be completed before the end of January. On July 9, 2013, Kroger and Harris Teeter announced a definitive merger agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies. On Oct. 3, 2013, Harris Teeter shareholders approved of the merger agreement. At the closing of the merger, Harris Teeter shareholders will receive $49.38 in cash for each share of Harris Teeter common stock they own.

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