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Activist investor urges Men's Wearhouse to talk to Jos. A Bank

(Reuters) - Hedge fund Eminence Capital LLC on Thursday said it has a nearly 10 percent stake in Men's Wearhouse Inc , making it the retailer's largest shareholder, and said the company should start talks with Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc , which last month announced an unsolicited bid for its larger rival.

Eminence said in a regulatory filing that it has about 4.7 million shares of Men's Wearhouse.

In a letter sent to the retailer's board included in the filing, Eminence Capital said the reasons for rejecting the Jos. A Bank takeover offer were "reckless and misinformed," though it agreed with Men's Wearhouse that the $2.3 billion bid was too low.

Jos. A. Bank has said it may consider raising its bid if it is allowed access to the books of Men's Wearhouse for due diligence.

The hedge fund said Men's Wearhouse should instruct its financial advisers to begin exploring strategic alternatives for the company and open talks with Jos. A. Bank by November 11. If that does not occur, Eminence said it would exercise its rights as a shareholder to hold the board accountable.

The news was reported earlier by CNBC.

Men's Wearhouse shares closed up 7.1 percent at $45.43 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Men's Wearhouse in June abruptly ousted its founder, George Zimmer, who had served as the company's executive chairman. Zimmer had clashed with the company's board over its structure and direction.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba, Jonathan Stempel and Michael Erman in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Leslie Adler)

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