Fishing tackle retail giant is exploring a move to buy one of its largest competitors.
Bass Pro Shops is considering an offer to buy Cabela’s, according to a Reuters news service report.
The report, published early Thursday afternoon, doesn’t cite any sources. Cabela’s didn’t immediately return a call for comment. A Bass Pro Shops spokesman said in an email: “We are aware of recent media speculation and our policy is not to comment on market rumors.”
Cabela’s has come under pressure from a so-called “activist” investor that has taken a big stake in the Sidney, Nebraska, company, saying it will press for big changes to boost the outdoor retailer’s stock price.
The investor, Elliott Management of New York, has said Cabela’s should consider selling itself, or selling parts of the company, such as its lucrative credit-card business.
Cabela’s stock rose sharply on the Reuters report, gaining about 9 percent by midafternoon to trade at $43.07 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. Ahead of Elliott’s announcement that it had taken the large stake in Cabela’s, the retailer’s stock had dropped 37 percent so far this year.
Were Bass Pro to buy Cabela’s and consolidate staff in Springfield, Missouri, where Bass Pro is based, it could be devastating for Sidney. Cabela’s employs about 2,000 people in the Sidney area, which has a population of about 6,800.
Bass Pro is working with an investment bank on the potential offer, Reuters reported. “Cabela’s has recently begun to explore its options and has also reached out to private equity firms to solicit interest,” said the unidentified sources cited by Reuters.