Bass Pro Shops to Acquire Cabela's
Bass Pro Shops has reached a deal to acquire outdoors retail competitor Cabela's in a deal valued at $5.5 billion, the companies said in a statement Monday. The deal comes about 10 months after Cabela's put itself up for sale at the urging of hedge fund Elliott Management, which had declared the hunting-and-fishing retailer undervalued and called for the company to consider a sale or reorganization. The deal marks a dramatic expansion of the outdoor retailing empire controlled by Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris, who founded the company in 1972. The billionaire will lead the newly combined entity as CEO and will retain majority ownership. The companies said they expect the deal to be approved in the first half of 2017.
Total Retail's Take: The acquisition should be a boon for both companies, but particularly for Cabela's, which has lost ground to smaller, nimbler competitors and online retailers over the years. Sales at Cabela's stores open at least a year fell 1.3 percent in the first half of 2016, compared to a year earlier. The number of purchases at Cabela's stores fell 8.1 percent during that same period. Hopefully the acquisition will provide value to Cabela's shareholders, as well as help the company continue to serve outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.