(Adds details on the companies)
By Greg Roumeliotis
Oct 2 A consortium of Bass Pro Shops, Goldman
Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm and Capital One
Financial Corp is in the lead to acquire U.S. outdoor
gear retailer Cabela's Inc, according to people familiar
with the matter.
The deal would unite two of the country's largest hunting
and fishing retailers and likely face antitrust scrutiny. It
would come close to a year after Cabela's said it would explore
strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, after coming
under pressure from activist fund Elliott Management Corp.
The exact price the Bass Pros consortium was offering for
Cabela's could not be immediately learned. But the deal is set
to value Cabela's well in excess of $4 billion, according to the
The Bass Pro consortium has so far prevailed over a rival
bid from private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which had teamed
up with U.S. credit card company Synchrony Financial to
make an offer, the people said. While it is still possible that
the outcome changes, a deal could be announced as early as this
week, the sources said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the
deliberations are confidential. Cabela's and Goldman Sachs
declined to comment, while Capital One and Bass Pro did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sidney, Nebraska-based Cabela's and Springfield,
Missouri-based Bass Pro have been meccas for outdoor enthusiasts
since their respective foundings in 1961 and 1971. As the
broader retail industry has struggled to compete with internet
retailers such as Amazon.com, Bass Pro and Cabela's
have been targeting customers seeking a one-stop shop for
entertainment, expert advice and shopping.
The companies have also at times benefited from their
significant hunting-gun businesses, as the industry experiences
steep swings in sales amid uncertainty around gun law changes.
Both retailers have a foothold across the United States,
with overlap in states that include Texas, Missouri and Kansas.
Still, Cabela's roughly 80 stores have a stronger Northwest
presence, while Bass Pro's approximately 100 stores are more
concentrated in the U.S. Northeast.
Reuters reported last week that Bass Pro and Goldman Sachs
had teamed up with Capital One, which is interested in the
credit card business of Cabela's, which is called World's
Foremost Bank. That 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.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional
reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)