Welcome!

News Feed Item

Eminence Capital Sends Letter To Board Of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc.

Calls Eddie Bauer Acquisition A Poor Strategic Fit Designed To Protect Management's Jobs and Paychecks

NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Eminence Capital, LLC, which owns 4.9 percent of the common stock of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ: JOSB), today sent the following letter to the Board of Directors regarding their announced acquisition of Eddie Bauer.

February 18, 2014

Dear Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. Board of Directors:

With the announcement of an agreement to acquire Eddie Bauer you have confirmed the suspicions we feared most and laid out in our recent lawsuit: the management team and board of Jos. A. Bank are willing to engage in desperate tactics in an effort to protect their jobs and paychecks in blatant disregard for the best interests of shareholders. 

We write this letter as a 4.9 percent shareholder with ownership of more than 1.37 million shares reflecting an economic interest very much in contrast to the Board. Collectively the entire seven member board of Jos. A. Bank owns approximately 269,000 shares, representing ownership of less than 1 percent of the company. Perhaps it is this lack of alignment with shareholders that explains your strategy to date of entrenchment rather than one of maximizing shareholder value.

We firmly believe that the acquisition of Eddie Bauer for nearly $900 million (inclusive of fees and expenses) is a poor strategic decision for Jos. A. Bank at a price that is in our view excessive and almost surely destroys shareholder value. This "bet the company" strategy on Eddie Bauer – a company which we believe offers minimal product or customer overlap and effectively no credible synergies – defies industrial logic in our opinion. More than 40 percent of Eddie Bauer's sales are to women and virtually all of its products are outside of Jos. A. Bank's core men's tailored clothing segment. Additionally, through this acquisition the company will enter more discretionary and fashion oriented categories in retail apparel, thereby significantly increasing the company's risk profile. You have agreed to pay what amounts to 14x trailing EBITDA and 19x trailing EBIT (a near 100 percent premium to Jos. A. Bank's own unaffected trading multiple)¹ for a company that offers little strategic benefit and was bankrupt less than four years ago. We calculate that this transaction is dilutive to the company's trailing earnings per share exclusive of synergies, a troubling fact given the low current financing rates. 

The company has issued what we frankly believe is suspect and misleading financial guidance in an effort to justify its actions. Pro forma EBITDA for 2013 for the combined Jos. A. Bank / Eddie Bauer is approximately $200 million², yet company projections for 2015 earnings are based on a combined EBITDA of $330 million. That amounts to a $130 million improvement despite only receiving a $25 million benefit from purported synergies. The Jos. A. Bank Board is essentially asking shareholders to close our eyes and trust this miraculous EBITDA improvement of more than 50 percent, despite lacking any credible basis in our opinion. Underlining our skepticism are the historical facts, starting with the fact that reported EBITDA is essentially flat over the past four years and concluding with Jos. A. Bank's recent announcement of yet another disappointing quarter.  

Finally, the announced transaction has two other features that in our view are destined to destroy shareholder value even further. If the Eddie Bauer transaction proceeds, Jos. A. Bank will issue 4.7 million shares of stock to Golden Gate at $56 per share only to repurchase nearly the same number of shares from the market at $65 per share, directly destroying more than $40 million of value. How is this consistent with the Board's fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value? Alternatively, if a "superior proposal" is received, you have agreed to give Golden Gate Capital a $50 million break-up fee (a very high 6 percent fee), money that might directly come out of shareholders pockets. Quite a good deal for Golden Gate's investors, and an exceptionally poor outcome for Jos. A. Bank shareholders.  

Your actions and behavior surrounding the offer made by The Men's Wearhouse and subsequent decision to enter into an agreement to purchase a completely unrelated business like Eddie Bauer demonstrate to us and the rest of your shareholders a total and complete disregard for your principal role: serving as a steward for shareholders in maximizing value. Not only have you turned your back on an acquirer prepared to pay a substantial premium for the company but you plan to deploy significant and valuable company resources into a troubling and risky sector of the retail and apparel industry in which you have absolutely no experience. In our view these decisions defy any sense of sound business judgment. To us, they appear designed for the sole purpose of keeping this management team and board employed.  

Make no mistake about it – we intend to hold the Board accountable for its actions both through the upcoming proxy vote and through direct actions in court.

Best regards,

Eminence Capital, LLC

/s/ Ricky C. Sandler

Ricky C. Sandler
Chief Executive Officer

Sources:

1.

Capital IQ, Jos. A. Bank Investor Presentation dated February 14th, 2014, 10-Q for the period ending August 3rd, 2013

2.

Jos. A. Bank Investor Presentation dated February 14th, 2014

Additional Information Regarding the Proxy Solicitation
In connection with its solicitation of proxies for the 2014 Annual Meeting of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. ("JOSB"), Eminence Capital, LLC intends to file a proxy statement on Schedule 14A and other relevant documents with the SEC. Investors and security holders are urged to read the preliminary proxy statement in its entirety and the definitive proxy statement and other relevant documents when they become available, because they will contain important information regarding the proxy solicitation. The preliminary and definitive proxy statement and all other relevant documents will be available, free of charge, on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

The following persons are participants in any such proxy solicitation: Eminence Capital, LLC, Eminence GP, LLC, Ricky C. Sandler, Bruce J. Klatsky and Norman S. Matthews. Investors and security holders of JOSB can obtain additional information regarding the direct and indirect interests of the participants by reading the materials to be filed today under cover of Schedule 14A with the SEC.              

About Eminence Capital, LLC
Eminence Capital, LLC is an asset management firm founded in 1998 that currently manages approximately $4.9 billion on behalf of institutions and individuals. The firm employs a bottom-up, research-driven investment strategy that utilizes a combination of industry research, rigorous financial analysis and dialog with company management to execute its investment process.

For More Information Contact:
Scott Tagliarino/Samantha Leon
ASC Advisors LLC
(203) 992-1230

SOURCE Eminence Capital, LLC

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
Is it possible to migrate 100% of your data ecosystem to the cloud? Join Joe Caserta as he takes you on a complete journey to digital transformation mapping out on-prem data footprint and walking it to the cloud. Joe will also explain how the modern ecosystem supports Artificial Intelligence and will include business use cases to back each of his insights.
Your job is mostly boring. Many of the IT operations tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis are repetitive and dull. Utilizing automation can improve your work life, automating away the drudgery and embracing the passion for technology that got you started in the first place. In this presentation, I'll talk about what automation is, and how to approach implementing it in the context of IT Operations. Ned will discuss keys to success in the long term and include practical real-world examples. Ge...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it's important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. "Fly two mistakes high" is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Le...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...