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Bass Pro Shops acquires Cabela’s for $5.5 billion

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US outdoor retail chain Cabela’s has been sold to rival Bass Pro Shops in a deal said to be worth $5.5 billion.

Two of North America’s best known fishing tackle suppliers have merged following Bass Pro Shops takeover of rival Cabela’s in a deal said to be worth $5.5 billion.

The acquisition ends a long-running saga that started over 10 months ago when Sidney, Nebraska-based Cabela’s announced that it was undertaking a complete review of the business that did not rule out its sale. That prompted speculation that Bass Pro Shops, privately owned by billionaire, Johnny Morris, was interested in taking over the celebrated retailer.

It is not immediately known whether the acquisition will result in any store closures, but the two companies said in a statement that Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops would ‘celebrate and grow’ the Cabela’s brand.

Bass Pro Shops has around 99 stores and 20,000 employees in the US, while its rival boasts 85 outlets and a roll-call of 19,700 in North America and Canada.

Morris, who will be the CEO of the new business, said: “The story of these companies could only have happened in America, made possible by our uniquely American free enterprise system. We have enormous admiration for Cabela’s, its founders and outfitters and its loyal customer base.”

Cabala’s CEO Tommy Millner said the company’s board had unanimously backed the sale after a ‘thorough strategic review’.

It is expected that its operation in Sidney and Lincoln, Nebraska, will continue.

The deal is expected to be approved in the first half of 2017.

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