Jos. A Bank may
raise offer for rival
Firing another shot in its attempt to buy Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. said Thursday it would consider boosting its $2.3 billion offer to buy its rival.
Hampstead, Md.-based Jos. A. Bank said it might offer more than $48 per share if given a chance to conduct a limited review of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. to find out whether a price increase would be justified. In a letter to Men’s Wearhouse CEO Douglas S. Ewert, Bank said it will withdraw its proposal if the Men’s Wearhouse board has not entered into good-faith talks with Jos. Bank by Nov. 14.
A spokesman for Men’s Wearhouse could not immediately be reached for comment.
Jos. A. Bank made the initial offer Sept. 18 at a 42 percent premium to the previous day’s closing price of Men’s Wearhouse stock. Men’s Wearhouse rejected the offer after it became public in October, saying it significantly undervalues the retailer and its growth potential.
Phillips 66 building
Phillips 66 plans to build a new terminal in Texas to export liquefied petroleum gas in order to meet growing international demand for U.S.-made butane and propane.
The oil refiner and chemicals company said Thursday that the terminal is in the design phase and final approval is expected early next year. It expects the terminal to be operating by the middle of 2016 and be able to export 4.4 million barrels of liquefied petroleum gas per month.
The terminal will be built on its existing site in Freeport, Texas. The liquefied petroleum gas will be supplied from its Old Ocean, Texas, complex.
The Freeport LPG export terminal would be supplied with LPG from the Mont Belvieu area and from Phillips 66’s Sweeny complex at Old Ocean, Texas, including its recently announced Sweeny Fractionator One, which is expected to start up by the second half of 2015.
Shares of Houston-based Phillips 66 fell 58 cents to $64.65 in afternoon trading Wednesday.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a sign that employers are laying off very few workers.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average rose 8,000 to 356,250, the highest since April. The 16-day partial government shutdown and backlogs in California due to computer upgrades inflated the average.
Still, a government spokesman said those unusual factors did not affect last week’s first-time applications, which appeared to be free of distortions for the first time in two months.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have fallen for three straight weeks and are just above the pre-recession levels reached in August.
Fewer applications are typically followed by more job gains. But hiring has slowed in recent months, rather than accelerated.