Bass Pro agrees to buy Cabela’s for $5.5 billion

HARLINGEN — The long-anticipated takeover of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops Inc. was concluded Monday after officials announced Cabela’s had accepted a deal worth $5.5 billion.

The two outdoor giants share similar histories, with Cabela’s being founded in 1961 by Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela. Cabela’s operates 85 specialty retail stores, primarily in the western U.S. and Canada. Bass Pro Shops, founded in 1972 by Johnny Morris, has 99 stores located primarily in Canada and the eastern United States, including Harlingen.

Cabela’s has stores in six Texas cities — League City, Lubbock, Waco, Allen, Buda and Forth Worth.

Bass Pro has seven retail centers in the state — San Antonio, Round Rock, Pearland, Kay, Grapevine, Garland and Harlingen.

The acquisition by Bass Pro is not expected to affect its operation in Harlingen.

“Today’s announcement marks an exceptional opportunity to bring together three special companies with an abiding love for the outdoors and a passion for serving sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. “The story of each of these companies could only have happened in America, made possible by our uniquely American free enterprise system. We have enormous admiration for Cabela’s, its founders and outfitters, and its loyal base of customers. We look forward to continuing to celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand alongside Bass Pro Shops and White River as one unified outdoor family.”

“Cabela’s is pleased to have found the ideal partner in Bass Pro Shops,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO. “Having undertaken a thorough strategic review, during which we assessed a wide variety of options to maximize value, the board unanimously concluded that this combination with Bass Pro Shops is the best path forward for Cabela’s, its shareholders, outfitters and customers.”

Shares of Cabela’s Inc. CAB were up 15 percent in premarket trading Monday, after the sporting goods retailer announced the deal to be acquired by Bass Pro. Under terms of the deal, Bass Pro will pay $65.50 for each Cabela’s share outstanding, which represents a 19 percent premium on Friday’s closing price of $54.93.