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Men's Wearhouse said to weigh bid for Allen Edmonds

  • Article by: MICHAEL J. de LA MERCED
  • New York Times
  • October 22, 2013 - 11:09 PM

Men’s Wearhouse may try one of the country’s bigger upscale shoemakers on for size.

The men’s clothing retailer is weighing a bid for Allen Edmonds, people briefed on the matter said Tuesday. The move comes even as it prepares to defend itself against a potential hostile takeover approach by Jos. A. Bank.

Allen Edmonds, based in Port Washington, Wis., is owned by a Minneapolis private equity firm, Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, which paid about $100 million for the company seven years ago.

It isn’t clear whether a deal for Allen Edmonds would have a significant effect on Jos. A. Bank’s offer for Men’s Wearhouse. A purchase of the shoemaker would likely be in the low hundreds of millions of dollars, these people said. Jos. A. Bank has already offered $2.3 billion for Men’s Wearhouse and may have to bid more.

So far, Men’s Wearhouse has rebuffed its unwanted suitor, and the two haven’t had discussions in several weeks. Jos. A. Bank hasn’t indicated yet whether it will go fully hostile, though people close to the company have said that it is considering all options.

Some of the people briefed on the matter said that any deal for Allen Edmonds would fit into Men’s Wearhouse’s existing acquisition strategy. It bought the men’s clothing brand Joseph Abboud for $97.5 million earlier this year. It wouldn’t be meant as a takeover defense, they added.

But it would continue moving Men’s Wearhouse into more upscale clothing brands. Allen Edmonds is best known for dress shoes that have clad the likes of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

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