The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Cabela's sought sale before getting hedge fund pressure


OMAHA (AP) — Financial documents show Cabela’s had been trying to sell itself months before an investor declared its big stake and publicly pushed for the sale.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week detail the yearlong process to sell the Nebraska-based outdoor gear retailer.

Filings show Cabela’s management privately discussed selling the company as early as June 2015.

Elliott Management, a New York-based hedge fund, declared an 11 percent stake in October 2015, saying it would press for a sale. Elliott was in contact with Cabela’s before its declaration.

Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris called Cabela’s Director Mike McCarthy about a week after Elliott went public to indicate his company was interested in buying Cabela’s. Bass Pro officially announced one year later it would buy Cabela’s for $5.5 billion, consolidating headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.

Cabela’s co-founder Jim Cabela was initially against the proposed sale to Bass Pro without guarantee that the Sidney headquarters would stay open.

Documents show Bass Pro said in its announcement of a deal that it “appreciates and understands the deep ties between Cabela’s and the community of Sidney,” but still didn’t specifically guarantee that the Sidney location would stay open.

The sale is expected to close later this year without the headquarters assurance, with many of the company’s roughly 2,000 jobs in Sidney facing uncertainty.

“We are committed to bringing these two organizations together, which will enhance our ability to serve sportsmen and sportswomen in an increasingly competitive environment,” a Bass Pro statement read.

Cabela’s declined to comment.


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