Hedge fund Eminence Capital, which owns a 4.9% stake in Jos A Bank Clothiers, is backing the hostile takeover bid for the business from rival retailer The Men’s Wearhouse.

Eminence has written to the Jos A Bank board urging it to engage in negotiations with Men’s Wearhouse and further a deal which it said could create “significant value” for shareholders.

Backing its insistence that the board take no action to jeopardise the deal, Eminence has also sought a court injunction to prevent Jos A Bank directors from “continuing to breach their fiduciary duties” by refusing to negotiate over the potential takeover.

It added that it would put forward two directors at the as yet unscheduled annual meeting of Jos A Bank shareholders, but would withdraw these if the nominees of Men’s Wearhouse were still in the running at the time of the meeting.

Eminence CEO Ricky Sandler said the two nominees would be “highly qualified retail industry experts who will be committed to maximising shareholder value”.

Last week Jos A Bank urged shareholders to “hold on” while it considered the latest hostile bid from Men’s Wearhouse.

The bid of US$57.50 per share, up from the previous $50 offer made in November, came just days after Jos A Bank improved its buyout defences and is the latest move in an ongoing corporate battle between the two.