Skip to main content

Bass Pro Shops 'Reels In' Cabela's with $5.5 Billion Deal

Cabela's agrees to be bought by Bass Pro Shops in a deal valued at $5.5 billion that will combine the top two hunting and fishing retailers in the United States

Bass Pro Shops 'Reels In' Cabela's with $5.5 Billion Deal
A customer looks through the in-store sales advertisements inside a Cabela's store on "Black Friday" in Fort Worth, Texas. (Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi photo)

(Reuters) - The deal, first reported by Reuters, will combine Cabela's 85 stores, which have a stronger U.S. Northwest presence, with Bass Pro's roughly 100 stores that are concentrated in the U.S. Southeast.

Their overlap in Texas, Missouri and Kansas will likely raise antitrust concerns.

"Both Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops used promotions to drive store traffic and market share, especially in contested geographic regions. As a combined entity, we see potential for a more rational promotionalenvironment to emerge, benefiting all industry participants, "D. A. Davidson Co said in a research note.

Cabela's had said it would explore a sale last December after pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp, which said the shares were undervalued.


Cabela's shares ended up 15 percent at $63.18 on the New York Stock Exchange, close to the $65.50 per share in cash that the deal with Bass Pro values the company.


Elliott now stands to make a profit of $419.2 million, nearly double what it paid to buy an 11.1 percent stake in the company, according to regulatory filings.

Sydney, Nebraska-based Cabela's and Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro have been serving outdoor enthusiasts since their respective foundings in 1961 and 1971.

As the broader industry has struggled to compete with internet retailers such as Amazon.com Inc., Bass Pro and Cabela's have been targeting customers seeking a one-stop shop for entertainment, expert advice and shopping.

Cabela's has grappled with declining sales of apparel and footwear and has reported same-store sales growth in only one quarter in more than three years. Still, the company maintains a loyal following, with many customers willing to drive miles to shop at stores, as well as dine at itsrestaurants and visit its shooting ranges.


The companies have at times also benefited from their significant hunting-gun businesses, but the industry has seen steep swings in sales amid uncertainty around gun law changes.

Both companies are closely associated with their founders, Johnny Morris at Bass Pro and Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela at Cabela's. Dick Cabela died in 2014 and was succeeded by his brother Jim as chairman of Cabela's. Johnny Morris, who still owns a majority of Bass Pro, will be chief executiveof the combined company.

Cabela's also agreed to sell its credit card business called "World's Foremost Bank" to Capital One Financial Corp, which will forge a 10-year partnership with Bass Pro to issue credit cards to Cabela'scustomers.


Bass Pro will finance the acquisition through preferred equity financing commitments of $1.8 billion from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.; and $600 million from buyout firm Pamplona Capital Management.

JPMorgan Chase Co; advised Bass Pro Shops and Guggenheim Securities advised Cabela's on the deal.

(Additional reporting by Michael Flaherty and Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

How to Rig a Fishing Kayak

How to Rig a Fishing Kayak

Outfit your 'yak for summertime angling in 6 easy steps.

Tactacam Fish-I Camera and Remote

Tactacam Fish-I Camera and Remote

Recording your fishing success is a one-button deal with Tactacam's FISH-I Camera and Remote. Tactacam's Ben Sterns shares insight on the camera system with In-Fisherman's Todd Ceisner as part of our 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

Yo-Zuri Hardcore NOI-Z Wakebait and Crank Series

Yo-Zuri Hardcore NOI-Z Wakebait and Crank Series

FLW Pro Circuit angler Spencer Shuffield tells Florida Sportsman executive editor Jeff Weakley that there are two new offerings from Yo-Zuri that take full casting distance advantage of the company's patented Magnetic Weight Transfer system. One of those new baits is the Hardcore NOI-Z wakebait, a hinged lure that uses a hard-knocking rattle, a rear prop and a feathered treble hook to draw ferocious strikes. The other is the redesigned Hardcore Crank 2+, 3+, and 4+ series, which can be cast a country mile, bounced off of cover, and retrieved silently to lure high-pressured bass into striking.

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Jeff Weakly talks with Mike Rice, Product Manager at PENN Reels about the relaunch of the Penn Battle III Spinning reel.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time.10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths.5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

The National Shooting Sports Foundation provides places to start.Are You a New Hunter Looking for Help? Hunting How-To

Are You a New Hunter Looking for Help?

Adam Heggenstaller - August 19, 2020

The National Shooting Sports Foundation provides places to start.

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day Whitetail

10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day

M.D. Johnson - August 26, 2020

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Major League Fishing (MLF), a made-for-television bass fishing competition featuring the country's top professional anglers, celebrates its 5-year anniversary this summer with news it has become the No. 1 fishing show in the nation.Major League Fishing Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary with Top Rating Stories

Major League Fishing Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary with Top Rating

MLF Communications

Major League Fishing (MLF), a made-for-television bass fishing competition featuring the...

Editor's Note: Our popular Camera Corner features reader photos and stories from successfulPamela's Story: A Memorable Fly Fishing Encounter Stories

Pamela's Story: A Memorable Fly Fishing Encounter

April 28, 2017

Editor's Note: Our popular Camera Corner features reader photos and stories from successful

Learn from your electronics by understanding SONAR frequency strengths and weaknesses.Secrets Your Fishfinder is Trying to Reveal Stories

Secrets Your Fishfinder is Trying to Reveal

Dr. Jason Halfen - May 13, 2020

Learn from your electronics by understanding SONAR frequency strengths and weaknesses.

'Entering a fishing tournament is like gambling. If you can afford it, go for it, but I'm not bankrolling you.'Money Fish: Things Change When Cash is on the Line Stories

Money Fish: Things Change When Cash is on the Line

Jeff Johnston - August 05, 2020

'Entering a fishing tournament is like gambling. If you can afford it, go for it, but I'm not...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now