After many months of negotiations, the sporting goods purchase of the century has been consummated: Bass Pro Shops is acquiring Cabela’s for the tidy sum of $5.5 billion. Described more like a merger, the two giant retailers of the hunting, fishing and outdoors supplies will be maintaining their names and personalities.
Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, had these comments: "Today's (Oct. 3) 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. The story of each of these companies could only have happened in America, made possible by our uniquely American free enterprise system. We have enormous admiration for Cabela’s, its founders and outfitters, and its loyal base of customers. We look forward to continuing to celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand alongside Bass Pro Shops and White River as one unified outdoor family.”
"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."
Both companies are highly respected marketers of hunting, fishing, camping, shooting sports, and related outdoor merchandise. Cabela’s, founded in 1961 by Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela, operates a lucrative mail order business and 85 specialty retail stores, primarily in the western U.S. and Canada. Bass Pro Shops, founded in 1972, also has a large mail order presence and has 99 stores and Tracker Marine Centers located primarily in the eastern U.S. and Canada.
Johnny Morris will continue as CEO and majority shareholder of the new entity, which will remain a private company with a continuing long-term view of supporting the industry and conservation. The merger will be finalized in the spring of 2017. Read more at www.basspro.com and www.cabelas.com.