Lenders vying for Cabela's credit card business -sources

Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:21pm EDT
 
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By Mike Stone

April 27 (Reuters) - At least five financial services companies are competing to acquire the credit card business of Cabela's Inc, a U.S. outdoor retailer that is exploring selling itself, according to people familiar with the matter.

Cabela's has been looking to sell its credit card division at a time when an auction for the entire company has attracted interest from a consortium comprising rival Bass Pro Shops and Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm.

Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp, Capital One Financial Corp, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Synchrony Financial are among the lenders that have submitted offers for the Cabela's credit card business, the people said this week.

The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Cabela's, Citigroup, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of America and Synchrony declined to comment. Capital One did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dubbed World's Foremost Bank, the credit card business of Cabela's had nearly 2 million accounts with roughly $5 billion in loans and $502 million in revenue in 2015, according to the company's latest annual report.

A sale of the Cabela's credit card business would free the Sidney, Nebraska-based company from the regulatory burden and capital requirements associated with maintaining a bank charter.

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.

Cabela's, which has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion, was founded in 1961 by Dick Cabela and has roughly 80 stores in 36 U.S. states and nine in Canada. It also runs a large catalog business, which contributes roughly 24 percent of sales. (Additional reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)