The two companies say the merger will enhance their ability to serve outdoor enthusiasts with complementary product offerings and geographic footprints

The two companies say the merger will enhance their ability to serve outdoor enthusiasts with complementary product offerings and geographic footprints

Two of the leading outdoor sports retailers in the US are to merge following the acquisition of Cabela's by Bass Pro Shops in a deal worth US$5.5bn.

American outdoor chain Bass Pro Shops will acquire its rival for $65.50 per share in cash. Upon closing, the company will commence a multi-year partnership agreement with financier Capital One, National Association, a national banking subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation, which will "originate and service" the Cabela's Club, and Cabela's co-branded credit card divisions. 

A driving force behind the agreement, the two companies say, is the "highly complementary business philosophies, product offerings, expertise and geographic footprints" of the two businesses. The combination brings together three premier sporting brands: Cabela's for hunting, Bass Pro Shops for fishing, and White River Marine Group for boating, which is part of Bass Pro Shops.

"Today's announcement marks an exceptional opportunity to bring together three special companies with an abiding love for the outdoors and a passion for serving sportsmen and sportswomen," says Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. 

In December last year, Cabela's said it was potentially seeking a buyer as it revealed plans to "explore and evaluate a wide range of strategic alternatives" to enhance shareholder value. 

The group had been under pressure since October 2015 when investment firm Elliott Management began pushing for the potential sale of its credit card unit or the entire company. 

Cabela's explores potential sale in strategic review