The retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers is in talks to buy Bellevue-based Eddie Bauer as part of its strategy in the running takeover battle between Bank and rival suit merchant Men’s Wearhouse, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Eddie Bauer, founded in Seattle in 1920, has about 370 stores in the U.S. and Canada. It had about 500 headquarters employees as of June 2012, when it named Michael Egeck as president.
The outdoor clothing retailer was acquired out of bankruptcy five years ago by San Francisco private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.
Golden Gate last fall backed the bid by Jos. A. Bank to buy Men’s Wearhouse, the Journal reported. The latter retailer turned around and proposed buying Jos. A. Bank, but neither bid has been accepted.
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Last month Men’s Wearhouse upped its offer for Jos. A. Bank to $1.61 billion, or $57.50 per share.
The Journal, which cited people familiar with the discussions, said it had no details about the possible deal for Eddie Bauer.
Eddie Bauer’s corporate office was closed on Saturday and a spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.