Bass Pro Shops Ponies up $5.5 Billion for Cabela’s

   10.03.16

Bass Pro Shops Ponies up $5.5 Billion for Cabela’s

Yep, it’s true. Bass Pro Shops (BPS) is reportedly buying Cabela’s for a whopping $5.5 billion bucks.

Have our choices for large outdoor retailers officially shrunk? I’d say yes and no since both large outdoor retailers will be owned by one entity, but it seems as if the Cabela’s name will live on, even while it’s owned and controlled by its former competitor:

Bass Pro Shops said it plans to maintain Cabela’s operations in Sidney and Lincoln, Neb. ‘and hopes to continue the very favorable connections to those communities and the Cabela’s team members residing there.’

And according to Bass Pro Shops’ statement:

Following the closing of the transaction, Bass Pro Shops intends to celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand and will build on qualities that respective customers love most about Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. In addition, Bass Pro Shops recognizes the strength of Cabela’s CLUB Loyalty program and intends to honor Cabela’s customer rewards and sees potential over time to expand the program in the combined company.

Nobody’s saying much about any other potential store closures, probably because it’s too early to know exactly what will result as the companies align and reorganize.

BPS and Cabela’s are similar in size:

Bass Pro Shops has about 99 stores and 20,000 employees. Cabela’s has about 85 stores and had about 19,700 employees at the end of 2015, according to securities filing.

Also from the BPS statement:

‘Cabela’s is pleased to have found the ideal partner in Bass Pro Shops,’ said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s Chief Executive Officer. ‘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. 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.’

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think competition is healthy for business, especially for us consumers, but hopefully this will turn out well for everyone.

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