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Men's Wearhouse top investor backs Jos. A. Bank bid

Men's Wearhouse Inc's largest shareholder, Eminence Capital LLC, said it backed the company's $1.16 billion bid for Jos. A. Bank, and urged the smaller rival to start talks with Men's Wearhouse.

Jos. A. Bank "will not be able to deliver comparable value to shareholders through any other strategic transaction or action," Eminence Chief Executive Ricky Sandler said in a letter to the board on Monday.

The New-York based asset management firm would file an injunction in the court of Chancery of the State of Delaware to prevent Jos. A. Bank from pursuing another deal.

Jos. A. Bank, a century-old retailer of men's tailored and casual clothing, offered $2.3 billion for Men's Wearhouse last year that was swiftly rebuffed by the larger rival. Weeks later, Men's Wearhouse struck back with a bid to acquire Jos. A. Bank.

Last week, Men's Wearhouse mounted the hostile $1.61 billion bid to break Jos. A. Bank's resistance, offering $57.50 per share, after the company rejected its earlier $55 per share offer.

Eminence, which owns about 10 percent of Men's Wearhouse and about 5 percent of Jos. A. Bank, said earlier this month that it supported a merger of the two suit retailers.

Jos. A. Bank and Men's Wearhouse were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

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