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Bass Pro Parent to Acquire Sportsman’s Warehouse

Bass Pro

Publicly traded Sportsman’s Warehouse entered a definitive agreement to join privately held Great American Outdoors Group, parent company of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, White River Marine Group and a collection of resorts, the companies announced.

Missouri-based Great American Outdoors Group, which will remain a private company, has agreed to acquire the 112-location chain with 8,000 employees for $18 per share in cash, valuing the chain at around $800 million, according to SGB Executive.

The price represents a 42 percent premium versus Sportsman’s Warehouse’s closing price of $12.65 on Dec. 21, just before the deal was announced.

“We greatly admire the passionate team at Sportsman’s Warehouse for their commitment to their customers and the sports we all love,” Bass Pro Shops founder and Great American Outdoors Group leader Johnny Morris said in a statement. “By combining our best practices, our aim is to give our customers a best-of-the-best experience while further uniting them to support conservation.”

Pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Kaskela Law announced Dec. 31 that it is investigating Sportsman’s Warehouse to determine if the proposed $18 per share “provides sufficient consideration to Sportsman's Warehouse's shareholders for their shares of common stock, and whether Sportsman's Warehouse's officers and/or directors breached their fiduciary duties to stockholders in connection with the agreement to sell the company to Great American.”

The Rigrodsky & Long firm announced an investigation regarding “possible breaches of fiduciary duties and other violations of law related to Sportsman’s Warehouse’s agreement to be acquired by affiliates of the Great American Outdoors Group.”

If approved, Sportsman’s Warehouse will ultimately sell items from Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, including Tracker, Nitro, and Ranger boats. The chain will operate independently prior to closing.

“We are very respectful of the leadership and passionate team members at Sportsman’s Warehouse, and the local and regional knowledge they possess,” Jack Wlezien, director of communications for Bass Pro Group, told SGB Executive.

Asked about store closures, Wlezien responded: “This is about serving more people who love the outdoors. Since uniting with Cabela’s three years ago, only three stores have closed while we have opened eight new locations. Today, the combined company collectively employs more people than Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s did independently prior to coming together. We feel that joining with Sportsman’s Warehouse will bring about further growth and provide increased opportunities.”

Wlezien said he doesn’t anticipate an antitrust issue to upend the deal.

The outdoor market is extremely fragmented and competitive, especially with the dramatic increase in online shopping,” he said. “Collectively, our combined new company will represent a very small part of the overall outdoor industry.”

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