Bass Pro buy­ing out­door gear ri­val Ca­bela’s

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Josh Funk

OMAHA, Neb. — Out­door gear gi­ant Bass Pro is snap­ping up ri­val Ca­bela’s in a deal an­nounced Mon­day

Bass Pro is pay­ing Ca­bela’s share­hold­ers $65.50 cash per share, a 19 per­cent pre­mium to Fri­day’s clos­ing price. The com­pa­nies val­ued the deal at $5.5 bil­lion, which in­cludes debt. The deal com­bines two com­pa­nies known for their gi­ant des­ti­na­tion su­per­stores.

It also cre­ates un­cer­tainty about jobs in Ca­bela’s home state of Ne­braska. The com­bined com­pa­nies plan to keep some op­er­a­tions in Ne­braska, but it’s not im­me­di­ately clear how many jobs might be lost.

Ac­tivist in­vest­ment firm Elliott Man­age­ment be­gan push­ing for sig­nif­i­cant changes at Ca­bela’s last fall. Elliott owns 7.4 per­cent of Ca­bela’s shares and holds op­tions to buy an ad­di­tional 3.8 per­cent.

A sale of Ca­bela’s has been a pos­si­bil­ity since the com­pany an­nounced a re­view of its strate­gic op­tions last De­cem­ber, but many in Sid­ney, Neb., where Ca­bela’s is based, weren’t ready to be­lieve it could hap­pen. “We’re just try­ing to ab­sorb it right now,” said Denise Wilkin­son, pres­i­dent of the Cheyenne County Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Bass Pro founder and CEO Johnny Mor­ris said he hopes to con­tinue growing the Ca­bela’s brand along­side his pri­vately held chain, which is based in Spring­field, Mo.

“The story of each of these com­pa­nies could only have hap­pened in Amer­ica, made pos­si­ble by our uniquely Amer­i­can free en­ter­prise sys­tem,” Mor­ris said.

Ca­bela’s was founded in 1961 when Dick Ca­bela started sell­ing fish­ing flies through the mail from his kitchen ta­ble with his wife, Mary, and brother, Jim.

Bass Pro got its start in 1971 when Mor­ris be­gan sell­ing high-qual­ity fish­ing tackle in his dad’s liquor store.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.