Bass Pro Buys Cabela's

Andrew Cummings
October 5, 2016

"Obviously we're really hoping for the best". "We've got a lot to offer".

But to some Wichitans, the purchase might resonate in an odd way: almost a decade earlier, in 2003 and 2004, the very public efforts to lure a Bass Pro to downtown Wichita was big news.

"Any negotiations Bass Pro has had have been directly with Sands". "We just never knew what would happen". WaterWalk continued to struggle and has never completely developed. That, he said, included the talk with Bass Pro CEO Morris and the trip Tuesday to Sidney.

Bass Pro Shops has raised $1.8bn from the merchant banking unit of Goldman Sachs along with $600m from private equity company Pamplona Capital Management for the acquisition. "It may affect that". The company began a strategic review of its business in December.

The immediate priority will be figuring out how to integrate the two companies, said Neil Stern, senior partner with retail consultant McMillan Doolittle in Chicago. The deal combines two companies known for their giant destination superstores.

The Tilden Township Cabela's is about 37 miles, or a 45-minute drive, from Bethlehem.


The points can then be redeemed at U.S. Cabela's stores, catalogs or on cabelas.com.

Bass Pro Shops said in a press release Monday that it plans to "maintain important bases of operations in Sidney and Lincoln and hopes to continue the very favorable connections to those communities and the Cabela's team members residing there".

Oklahoma City built a $21 million store for Bass Pro Shops in Lower Bricktown that opened in 2003.

As part of the deal, Capital One Financial would take over the credit card business, but Bass Pro will still see a cut for every new credit card it sells.

Kyle Mallory, a manager at the East Grand Forks store, said he was unsure how the sale would affect that location, and he deferred further questions to corporate officials. "That is a tremendous difference", he said.

Details of the deal provided in a Bass Pro Shops news release do not reveal if the merger will result in store closings. Johnny Morris, who still owns a majority of Bass Pro, will be chief executive of the combined company.


Other than the Mitchell location, Cabela's operates a South Dakota store in Rapid City.

Cabela's: Publicly held, based in Sidney, Neb.

Cabela's has 85 retail stores. primarily in the western US and Canada. Reported net income of $189.3 million on $4 billion in sales in 2015. Bass also started and operates White River Marine Group, which markets boat, motor and trailer packages. Sales of $4.45 billion in 2015, ranked 94 on Forbes' list of largest USA private employers.

For their part in the sale, the privately-held Bass Pro Shops will pay $65.50 per share, in cash, for Cabela's.

Nebraska politicians are encouraging Bass Pro to maintain significant operations in the state after the deal closes sometime in the first half of next year.


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