FINANCE

Men’s Wearhouse extends Jos. A. Bank tender offer to May 21

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fremont, Calif. – In accordance with the terms of its merger agreement with Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., The Men’s Wearhouse has extended its all-cash tender offer for $65 per share for all of the currently outstanding shares of common stock to May 21, 2014, unless further extended. The tender offer was previously set to expire on May 7.

Approximately 22 million shares of Jos. A. Bank common stock have been validly tendered in, and not withdrawn from the tender offer. BofA Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are serving as financial advisors to Men’s Wearhouse, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as legal advisor.

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OPERATIONS

EBay, Invaluable launch online live auction partnership

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – EBay and Invaluable are launching a partnership to offer traditional live auctions through real-time online bidding at auction houses around the world. Invaluable’s software solutions, including their online live bidding technology, will allow its partner auction houses to bring more than $4 billion of inventory onto the global eBay platform.

In the coming months, eBay will launch a destination that is especially tailored for customers who are looking for premium art and collectibles. Auction catalogs will be uploaded to Invaluable’s live bidding platforms, including Invaluable.com and AuctionZip.com, and promoted through EBay. The new experience will offer special events and the ability for shoppers to participate in traditional live auctions through real-time online bidding.

“Invaluable works with many of the premier brick-and-mortar auction houses around the globe, and they were the natural partner for us to work with to bring live auctions back to the EBay platform,” said Gene Cook, general manager of emerging verticals for EBay Marketplaces. “We’re excited to bring Invaluable’s incredible selection of unique, high-end artwork, antiques and collectibles to EBay’s global community.”

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FINANCE

Study: Fast-casual eateries gaining market share

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – The fast-casual segment continues to obtain share from full-service chains and drive limited-service growth, making up 15% of the $231 billion limited-service restaurant segment. The “Top 150 Fast-Casual Chain Report” from Technomic shows that fast-casual sales increased 11% in 2013, while all limited-service chains grew by only 3.5%.

"It’s no secret that today’s consumer wants quality offerings made quickly," said Darren Tristano, executive VP of Technomic. "Fast casual has made an impact on the full- and limited-service restaurant landscape. Before, a consumer might have traded a quality and fresh meal for something quick and economical. Fast-casual continues to find new ways to offer both, and it’s become a $34.5 billion segment."

Bakery cafes continued to lead all menu categories among the Top 150 fast-casual chains, with U.S. systemwide sales of $6.7 billion, up more than 9% from 2012. The Mexican and sandwich categories were second and third largest, with U.S. systemwide sales of $6.4 and $4.9 billion, respectively.
The specialty menu category saw the fastest sales growth, up 16%, followed by chicken which was up 12%. The sandwich and specialty clusters experienced the highest unit growth, growing outlets by 13% and 11%, respectively. Top fast-casual clusters and their leaders include:

• Bakery cafe led by Panera Bread with estimated sales of $4.1 billion.
• Mexican led by Chipotle Mexican Grill with estimated sales of $3.2 billion.
• Sandwich led by Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop with sales of $1.5 billion.
• Chicken led by Zaxby’s with sales of $1.1 billion.
• Asian/Noodle led by Panda Express with sales of $2 billion.
• Burger led by Five Guys Burgers and Fries with sales of $1.1 billion.
• Pizza led by Donatos Pizza with estimated sales of $174 million.
• Specialty led by Dickey’s Barbecue Pit with estimated sales of $331 million.

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