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Jos A Bank lowers 'poison pill' trigger from 20% to 10%


Hampstead, Md. -- Preparing for a potential fight against Men’s Wearhouse’s unsolicited acquisition bid, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers is ramping up its "poison pill" defense.

Jos. A. Bank said Friday that it is lowering its ownership threshold to 10% from 20%, which is the same ownership threshold as Men's Wearhouse's shareholder rights plan.

Such a plan typically allows existing shareholders to acquire more stock at a discounted rate to ward off the investor collecting a big stake.

Last September, Jos. A. Bank offered to buy its larger rival for $2.3 billion, an offer rebuffed by Men's Wearhouse who then responded with its own takeover bid of $1.54 billion.

In late December, Jos. A. Bank rejected the Men’s Wearhouse takeover offer, saying it was too low. Men's Wearhouse responded by saying that it would "carefully consider all of our options to make this combination a reality," which could include launching a proxy battle and nominating director candidates at Jos. A. Bank's next annual meeting.

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