Jos. A. Bank exploring possible merger with Eddie Bauer

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NEW YORK — As Jos. A. Bank continues to rebuff a hostile takeover bid by Men’s Wearhouse, the clothier is exploring at least one alternative deal that would keep it independent.

The company is in talks to buy Eddie Bauer, the outdoor clothing retailer, according to people briefed on the matter.

Meanwhile, Jos. A. Bank publicly released a letter to Men’s Wearhouse on Sunday accusing its bigger rival of failing to properly disclose the antitrust risks in its takeover bid. (The letter made no mention of the talks with Eddie Bauer.)

Both Sunday’s letter and the discussions with Eddie Bauer represent the latest twists in a monthslong drama over two of the country’s biggest menswear sellers.

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