Bass Pro Purchase of Cabela’s is Final

After strict review by regulators, Bass Pro has finalized the purchase of Cabela's in a reported $5 billion deal. (Photo: Bass Pro)

After one year of stringent review by regulators, the Bass Pro Shops’ acquisition of rival outdoor retailer Cabela’s is finally a done deal. According to the Business Wire, the deal closed for roughly $5 billion.

“We look forward to growing and celebrating conservation as we work to provide our combined customer base with enhanced product offerings, unique outdoor experiences and unrivaled services,” said Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops.

Monday’s closing announcement didn’t address how many of the roughly 2,000 Cabela’s jobs will remain in Sidney, Nebraska. Bass Pro has said it expects to keep some operations in Sidney, but redundant headquarters jobs will likely be consolidated in Bass Pro’s hometown of Springfield, Missouri.

Cabela’s shareholders are receiving $61.50 per share in the merger. The remaining company will be privately held.

Both companies’ brands will be retained, but the acquisition will allow customers to return items from either brand at any of the combined company’s locations and change gift cards for one brand into the other. Their respective credit card rewards programs will also apply at either Bass Pro or Cabelas. There are more details about impacts to customers on the company’s “Frequently Asked Questions” web page.

The combined companies are working hard to market the idea that the sale/merger means better things for consumers. Both outdoor companies had humble beginnings that they highlighted in a video about the merger posted for customers.

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 founder Johnny Morris began selling high-quality fishing tackle in his dad’s liquor store in Springfield.

Morris developed a following in the region and created the Bass Pro catalog in 1974. Morris also introduced the Bass Tracker fishing boat in 1978 that was designed specifically for fishermen.

For area customers, it seems that the only decision to make between shopping the Bass Pro Outpost in East Ridge or the Cabela’s at the next exit, is whether it’s easier for you to travel North or South on I-75. Although, for what it’s worth, the state/local sales tax at Cabela’s is 2.75 percent less than Bass Pro in Tennessee.

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