Eminence Capital LLC is at it again.
Early Tuesday morning, the activist investor, which holds a 4.9 percent stake in Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., said it intends to nominate two people for election to the retailer’s board at its annual meeting later this year.
“We intend to nominate two independent directors at the 2014 meeting of Jos. A. Bank shareholders. Our nominees will be highly qualified, retail industry experts who will be committed to maximizing shareholder value,” said Ricky C. Sandler, chief executive officer of Eminence Capital.
This follows a similar move by The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. last week.
“We are very encouraged by The Men’s Wearhouse Inc.’s decision to submit its own slate of nominees for the JOSB 2014 annual meeting. We want it to be very clear that we intend to support MW’s nominees and we plan to withdraw our nominees if those proposed by MW are still in the running at the time of the JOSB annual meeting. However, given that JOSB’s nomination window will be closing soon, we feel compelled to submit our own slate at this time to ensure both that JOSB is pursuing the combination with MW as vigorously as possible, and that JOSB directors will be held accountable if they approve an alternative transaction or cause JOSB to take other action before the annual meeting that would frustrate a transaction with MW,” Sandler added.
On Monday, Eminence publicly backed MW’s proposed $1.61 billion, or $57.50 a share, tender offer to acquire Jos. A. Bank. It concurrently filed suit in the Court of Chancery in Delaware seeking a preliminary injunction that would prevent Bank from, among other actions, making an “ill-advised acquisition” that could hurt the value of Bank’s shares and risk “killing” what Eminence has in the recent past viewed and continues to view as an attractive combination.
Robert Wildrick, Bank’s chairman, and Neal Black, ceo, are up for reelection as directors this year.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, Eminence reported that its stake in Men’s Wearhouse, previously 9.8 percent, had risen to 9.9 percent. The higher percentage was attributable to fewer total shares outstanding rather than an increase in Eminence’s holdings, which remain unchanged at just less than 4.7 million shares.
Eminence first reported its holdings in Men’s Wearhouse last November after a series of purchases beginning on Oct. 4 as the battle between MW and Jos. A. Bank began. Including brokerage commissions, it spent $195.6 million to acquire its shares.