Bass Pro and Cabella’s combine

OMAHA, NEB. — Outdoor gear giants Bass Pro and Cabela’s will combine in a $4.5 billion deal announced Monday.

Bass Pro is paying Cabela’s shareholders $65.50 cash per share. The deal creates uncertainty about jobs in Cabela’s home state of Nebraska. The combined companies plan to keep some operations in Sidney and Lincoln, Nebraska, but it’s not immediately clear how many jobs might be lost.

Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris says he hopes to continue growing the Cabela’s brand alongside his own Springfield, Missouri, based chain.

Capital One will take over running Cabela’s credit card unit as part of the deal. Activist investment firm Elliott Management began pushing for significant changes at Cabela’s last fall. Cabela’s employs about 2,000 people in the western Nebraska town of Sidney, which has about 7,000 residents.

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14 Responses to Bass Pro and Cabella’s combine

  1. P kellogg says:

    This guy also now owns Ranger Bass boats, and the tracker brand,

  2. Winston Smith says:

    I visited that Cabelas in Sidney about 12 years ago and I’ve never seen such a bunch of incompetent surly white employees. Had I been running the place, I would have fired the lot of them as soon as replacements could be found. You cant have a bunch of entitled babies doing retail and hope to thrive.
    That experience soured me on Cabelas and I never ordered from them again. Bass Pro practically dresses me fwiw.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I think I’ve been to Cabella’s one time – we had a Bass Pro about 15 miles from where I lived in California so that where I did my shopping.

  3. H says:

    This has been in the works for a long time now.

    The Bass Pro in Wichita is somewhat less than impressive as far as customer service, especially the prices in the gun department, not that the Cabela’s there is any better either way. Bring your lunch when buying a gun at Cabela’s in Wichita, their paperwork process is slow as Christmas and must have been designed by a former government bureaucrat. Even for CCW holders, which should streamline the process, it’s still tedious. Can’t say about gun prices or procedures at Bass Pro in Wichita, I never saw a gun there there that was priced well enough to purchase. I much prefer to buy guns from smaller dealers anyway.

    • Gator says:

      I prefer the smaller places too, but if you are going to buy from a big box type, Academy Sports has much better prices if you are near one of those.

  4. Timbo says:

    Never good news for us consumers.
    I was thinking this morning how our world is just like a game of monopoly.
    There is a threshold, where once one person has a certain amount of the money and property, there is no way, anyone else can fight back and win.
    I believe we have crossed that threshold in North America. The big and powerful now have so many advantages over the little guy, that it’s no longer a even close to a fair field of play.

    Every large merger gives them more control and power over the market place.

  5. theunpaidBill says:

    A sad day for Cabela’s. When they were family owned they had great service and were a great resource. Now they’re just another big-box retailer.

    I think there will be a lot of cheap housing in Sidney now. I pity the people who don’t work there but own a house as their property value is going to fall like a stone.

  6. Sanders says:

    Not good. When I was in St. Louis, I visited Cabela’s and Bass Pro. I liked Cabela’s, but didn’t care much for Bass Pro.

    I’ve always enjoyed mail order business with Cabela’s.

  7. parascribe says:

    ” Activist investment firm Elliott Management began pushing for significant changes at Cabela’s last fall.”

    What the hell is an activist investment firm?

    • Gator says:

      An activist investment firm buys a stake in a company and then tries to push it in a direction that is profitable for the investment firms shareholders, which doesn’t always work out for the original shareholders or the employees. A ‘non’activist’ firm merely buys a stake in a company they think will increase in value, but leaves the day to day running of the company to its existing board of directors. Elliot Management, run by Paul Singer, buys a large stake in a small company like Cabelas and begins pushing it to ‘streamline’ which typically means laying off a lot of people, usually middle management like the 2000 people in Sydney. It also closes down stores on the lower end of the profitability scale and selling off its assets to raise cash. And activist investment firm will then typically look to ‘sell’ the smaller company to a big one like BassPro, making a lot of money. This almost always results in huge layoffs to the company. Elliot will close out its position shortly after the merger, walking away with a large profit. Basspro, which already has a llarge national infrastructure and corporate headquarters, won’t be needing another, which means most of Cabelas non retail people will be out of a job.

      Paul Singer is also what you would call a quintessential republican party establishment insider. He funnels massive amounts of money to the campaigns of people like mitt romney, who you may remember made most of his money through similar schemes. Letting your company get taken over by people like that typically doesn’t work out very well for its existing employees.

  8. warhorse says:

    I went to the Sydney HQ once years ago on a “road trip” with a friend. he had just bought a new Audi and wanted to go, and I had just quit wal-mart and had some money saved.

    I think I burned more film taking pics in that store than I did the rest of the trip.

  9. Elmo says:

    My vote, FWIW.
    Like Cabelas, although always tend to wait for Cabelas Bucks to come along, and have enjoyed talking to the young folks (many of whom are Nebraska college kids) on the phone.

    Don’t like Bass Pro. They’re too proud of their prices (just checked yesterday for Hodgdon H4350- $36 a pound at Bass Pro, $30 at Cabelas).

  10. JMale says:

    Big box stores are generally not the place to look if you want the cheapest prices. That being said, its hard not to be a Bass Pro fan over Cabelas when you visit the flagship store/museum/etc in Springfield MO.

  11. ed357 says:

    I used a Cabela’s card for a while… get the Cabela’s rewards….

    Can only use the rewards at Cabela’s……cashed my rewards in…..

    will never use the card again…..prices are just to damn high

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