SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Bass Pro Shops announced Monday it has agreed to terms to purchase its primary outdoor competitor, Cabela’s, in a deal worth $5.5 billion.

The two companies sent out a joint press release laying out the details of the merger.

The $5.5 billion comes from the purchasing of Cabela’s public shares for just over $65 dollars each – 19% higher than the company’s closing share price last month.

Bass Pro is one of the largest employers in the Springfield area  with some 20,000 workers and more than 90 stores across the nation.
Nebraska-based Cabela’s is almost of equal size with 19,000 employees and 85 retail stores.

One question hanging over this deal is the potential of closures where the two outfitters overlap in markets, and whether the Cabela’s stores will keep their name or carry the Bass Pro title.  The joint release did not address those questions.

While we were unable to speak with Bass Pro directly,  owner Johnny Morris has this to say in today’s press release:
“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.”

According to  a USA Today article in 2015, Cabela’s began searching for a potential buyer  per the suggestion of a hedge fund that has purchased 11 percent stake in the company – and at that time called the company “undervalued.”

The deal between Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is expected to be finalized next year.

Our earlier report:

SIDNEY, Neb. — Outdoor outfitter Cabela’s confirmed Monday it is merging with Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops in a deal worth $5.5 billion dollars.

Reports surfaced late last week that Bass Pro had made a higher offer than that of a private equity firm, in a bid to acquire Cabela’s.

The Nebraska-based Cabela’s has 82 locations around the U.S.  It was founded in 1961 by Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela.  The company posted on it’s website that it’s shareholders will receive $65.50 per share in the deal.

Bass Pro Shops was founded in 1971 by Johnny Morris, operates 92 stores. Morris will remain as CEO and majority shareholder of the company.

Cabela’s News Release:

Legendary Outdoor Brands Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to Combine

Merger Will Enhance Ability to Serve Outdoor Enthusiasts with Complementary Product Offerings and Geographic Footprints

Cabela’s Shareholders Will Receive $65.50 Per Share in Cash

Bass Pro Shops Entering into Multi-Year Credit Card Partnership with Capital One

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Club Customer Loyalty Programs Remain Unchanged

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. & SIDNEY, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 3, 2016– Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Incorporated (NYSE:CAB), two iconic American outdoor companies with similar humble origins, and with a shared goal to better serve those who love the outdoors, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, representing an aggregate transaction value of approximately $5.5 billion.

In addition, upon closing Bass Pro Shops will commence a multi-year partnership agreement with Capital One, National Association, a wholly-owned national banking subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF), under which Capital One will originate and service the Cabela’s CLUB, Cabela’s co-branded credit card, and Bass Pro Shops will maintain a seamless integration between the credit card program and the combined companies’ retail operations and deep customer relationships. All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction. Capital One intends to continue to operate the Cabela’s CLUB servicing center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A driving force behind this agreement is the highly complementary business philosophies, product offerings, expertise and geographic footprints of the two businesses. The essence of both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is a deep passion to serve outdoor enthusiasts and support conservation. The combination brings together three of the nation’s premier sporting brands: Cabela’s, a leader in hunting; Bass Pro Shops, a leader in fishing; and White River Marine Group, a worldwide leader in boating, which is part of Bass Pro Shops.

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and White River Marine Group represent the best of American entrepreneurship, innovation and devotion to customers. The combined companies will strive to provide a remarkably enhanced experience for customers, increased opportunities for team members and greater support for conservation activities.