Bass Pro consortium leads with above $4-bn bid for US outdoors retailer Cabela's

A consortium led by US outdoor recreation goods retailer Bass Pro Shops, is in the lead to buy US outdoor gear retailer Cabela's Inc for more than $4 billion, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The consortium, which also includes Goldman Sachs private equity firm and US lender Capital One Financial Corp have outbid buyout offers from  private equity firm Sycamore Partners and credit card company Synchrony Financial, the report said.

The sale of Nebraska-based Cabela's comes nearly a year after New York hedge fund and activist investor Elliott Management Corp, which holds an 11-per cent stake, had forced the company to explore strategic alternatives, including a potential sale.

Reuters had earlier reported that Capital One teamed up with Bass Pro and Goldman Sachs because it is interested in Cabela' credit card business called World's Foremost Ban, which had nearly 2 million accounts with roughly $5 billion in loans and $502 million in revenue in 2015.

Founded by brothers Richard and Jim Cabela in 1961 as a home-based catalog business, Cabela's is now a leading specialty retailer, and the world's largest direct marketer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise with annual revenues of around $3.6 billion.

Its  product catalogue consists of approximately 225,000 SKUs and includes hunting, fishing, marine and camping merchandise, casual and outdoor apparel and footwear, optics, vehicle accessories, gifts and home furnishings with an outdoor theme and sells its products through nearly 80 stores in the US.

Its direct marketing operation is one of the largest in the US and its mail-order catalogs are shipped to 50 US states and 120 countries.

Founded in 1971 by John Morris, Missouri-based privately owned Bass Pro has over 100 stores across the US and has an annual turnover of around $4.3 billion.