Exclusive: Bass Pro teams up with Goldman for Cabela's bid - sources

Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:48pm EDT
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By Lauren Hirsch and Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) - Privately held outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops has partnered with Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm to make an offer for U.S. hunting and fishing store chain Cabela's Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move gives Bass Pro the equity financing necessary to pursue Cabela's and makes such a deal more likely, given the potential cost savings and synergies a combination of the two U.S. hunting and finishing retailers would bring.

Cabela's shares ended trading up 6.4 percent at $52.51 on Tuesday, after jumping as much as 8.4 percent on the news, giving the company a market capitalization of $3.6 billion.

Sidney, Nebraska-based Cabela's said in December it was working with investment bank Guggenheim Securities LLC to explore strategic alternatives including a sale, following pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.

Bass Pro and Goldman's consortium faces competition for Cabela's from buyout firms, and the sale process is still in the early stages, the sources said on Tuesday.

Cabela's has also been exploring selling its credit card business separately and received expressions of interest from other potential buyers, the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Bass Pro and Cabela's did not respond to requests for comment, while Goldman declined to comment.

As the broader sporting goods industry struggles to compete against online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc, Cabela's and Bass Pro are offering experiences not easily replaced digitally, such as museum-quality taxidermy and shooting galleries.   Continued...

Shoppers rush to grab items inside a Cabela's store on the shopping day dubbed "Black Friday" in Fort Worth, Texas November 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi