Two outdoor retailers became one beast Monday, when Bass Pro Shops announced it would acquire Cabela’s in a deal valued at $5.5 billion.
The news came nearly one year after hunting giant Cabela’s put itself on the market at the behest of hedge fund Elliot Management, which had pressed the retailer to consider a sale or reorganization in order to boost its stock price.
“Having undertaken a thorough strategic review, during which we assessed a wide variety of options to maximize value, the board unanimously concluded that this combination with Bass Pro Shops is the best path forward for Cabela’s, its shareholders, outfitters and customers,” stated Tommy Milner, Cabela’s chief executive officer. “In addition to providing significant immediate value to our shareholders, this partnership provides a unique platform from which our brand will be extremely well positioned to continue to serve outdoor enthusiasts worldwide for generations to come.”
Monday’s announcement did not include mention of any store closures or layoffs, but Bass Pro said it intends to “celebrate and grow” the Cabela’s brand. In addition, Bass Pro will honor Cabela’s rewards cards and credit cards.
“Today’s announcement marks an exceptional opportunity to bring together three special companies with an abiding love for the outdoors and a passion for serving sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Bass Pro founder and CEO Johnny Morris, referring to boat brand White River Marine Group, also part of his company. “All three companies are blessed to have been built by the extraordinary efforts of many tremendously talented, dedicated people throughout our respective histories and we’re thrilled to consider what the combined team can achieve going forward.”
Morris will serve as CEO of the new entity, which will remain a private company and combine Cabela’s 85 stores with Bass Pro’s 99 shops. The deal is being financed by Goldman Sachs and Pamplona.