Report: Bass Pro Partnering With Goldman Sachs To Acquire Rival Cabela’s

Image courtesy of Cyndi Beane Henry

The same day that the dire fates of Sport Chalet and Sports Authority give us reason to ponder the state of the sporting goods industry, we have news of more possible changes in this niche retail market: Outdoor goods giant Bass Pro is reportedly looking to buy rival Cabela’s. 

Reuters, citing people close to the matter, reports that Bass Pro Shops has partnered with Goldman Sachs Group’s privacy equity arm to prepare a bid for hunting and fishing store chain Cabela’s.

By partnering with Goldman Sachs, Bass Pro, which operates 100 stores in the U.S., will likely be able to obtain the necessary financing to make a deal with Cabela’s a reality.

This isn’t the first time the Missouri-based retailer has been rumored to be exploring the purchase of its competition.

Back in November, unnamed sources said the retailer was looking into an acquisition of Nebraska-based Cabela’s, which operates 80 stores in the U.S., following activist investor Elliott Management pushing the smaller brand to sell itself to a private equity firm.

Reuters reports that the Cabela’s has also been exploring a separate sale of its credit card business

The two outdoor retailers offer many of the same features, such “experience” shopping experiences that include taxidermy displays, shooting ranges, and other attractions.

Sources tell Reuters that if Missouri-based Bass Pro does got forward with the purchase of Cabela’s it could realize significant savings down the road.

Neither Bass Pro or Cabela’s could be reached for comment on the possible merger, Reuters reports.

Exclusive: Bass Pro teams up with Goldman for Cabela’s bid – sources [Reuters]