FTC OKs Ca­bela’s sale to Bass Pro Shops

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - — As­so­ci­ated Press

SID­NEY, NEB.» U.S. an­titrust reg­u­la­tors have ended their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Bass Pro Shops’ $4 bil­lion deal to buy Ca­bela’s, Ca­bela’s said Wed­nes­day.

The Ne­braska-based chain said the Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion signed off on the deal ear­lier this week, but bank­ing reg­u­la­tors still haven’t ap­proved one part of the trans­ac­tion.

Ca­bela’s share­hold­ers will vote on the deal, which would pay them $61.50 per share, next Tues­day.

Stifel Ni­cholas an­a­lyst Jim Duffy said gain­ing FTC ap­proval makes it much more likely that the merger of the two out­door gear sell­ing ri­vals will be com­pleted.

In ad­di­tion to sell­ing Ca­bela’s stores, web­site and cat­a­log busi­ness to Bass Pro, the com­pany plans to sell its credit card unit.

Ul­ti­mately, the deal calls for the credit card busi­ness to be sold to Cap­i­tal One. But first a Ge­or­gia-based bank named Synovus will buy the unit as a mid­dle­man. Synovus will hold onto the credit card unit’s $1.2 bil­lion in de­posits be­fore re­selling it to Cap­i­tal One.

Late last year, bank­ing reg­u­la­tors had ques­tioned the sale to Cap­i­tal One be­cause of an unrelated is­sue with that bank. Reg­u­la­tors haven’t said whether the new ar­range­ment in­volv­ing Synovus ad­dresses their con­cerns.

The deal is ex­pected to close later this year.

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