Cabela’s multi-billion dollar merger with Bass Pro Shops complete

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's completed a $5 billion merger Monday. (Photo: Cabela's)

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s completed a $5 billion merger Monday. (Photo: Cabela’s)

Two iconic outdoor retailers became one this week after completing a multi-billion dollar merger that has been in the works for nearly a year.

Bass Pro Shops finalized its $5 billion acquisition of competitor Cabela’s Monday, though the latter’s 89 existing locations will keep the same name moving forward.

“We are excited to unite these iconic American brands to better serve our loyal customers and fellow outdoor enthusiasts,” Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris said in a joint press release Monday.

“As we move forward, we are committed to retaining everything customers love about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s by creating a ‘best-of-the-best’ experience that includes the superior products, outstanding customer service and exceptional value our customers have come to expect. We’re also deeply motivated by the potential to significantly advance key conservation initiatives,” Morris continued.

Shares for the Nebraska-based Cabela’s jumped by double digits Sept. 7 after federal regulators approved the company’s plan to sell off its consumer credit arm — World’s Foremost Bank — to Synovus Corp. as part of the deal. Its stock price held steady Monday at $61.50 per share.

What will become of the 2,000 employees based at the Cabela’s headquarters in Sydney, Nebraska — about six hours west of Omaha — remains a question mark. The retailer employs more than a quarter of the town’s 7,000 residents and economists warn job cuts will come, but likely not at the store level.

Cabela’s laid off 70 employees in March, though Morris said he wants to retain “a significant presence” in Sydney. He has yet to elaborate on what that might mean.