HOLD YOUR HORSES!!! Bass Pro Shops Can’t Buy Cabela’s Just Yet…

Cabela's

The shares for Cabela’s Inc have been dropping and shareholders are becoming quite concerned. The purchase of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops for initially $5.5 billion has been halted due to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That figure of $5.5 billion has been adjusted to $4.5 billion now as well. In writing that may not seem like a big deal, but ask any shareholder if they would rather see it sell for one billion dollars more. I think you would know their answer.

What the FTC fears is that there would be too much consolidation (or a small monopoly) in the outdoor sporting goods market. If the merger goes through Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops would effectively control roughly 20% of their respective market.

The FTC formally has issued a 2nd request to review the proposed transaction. Since Cabela’s is a publically traded company they are also regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As a result, Cabela’s has to publically disclose their internal workings to shareholders and the general public.

To throw an additional wrench in the completion of the purchase of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops, Capital One is separately buying the Cabela’s line of credit cards. That was and still is a huge money maker for Cabela’s, but adds more complexity to the sale of their company. The credit card line purchase by Capital One was to be prospectively completed in October 2017 this year. That timeline still appears to be accurate, but Bass Pro Shops merger with the Cabela’s line of stores will be slowed as a result.

In sum, the FTC wants another look at the paperwork surrounding the Cabela’s/Bass Pro Shops merger. Capital One is still poised to buy the Cabela’s branded credit cards. What remains to be seen is when all these pieces will fall into place. Until then, shareholders of Cabela’s are hoping the bleeding stops sooner rather than later.



The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


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  • Sunset Shooter

    And with Gander going under, it will get even more scrutiny.

    Shareholders will loose regardless, Capitol one and the lawyers will make money.

    In the end, Cabela”s – the Sears of the outdoor set- will go the way of Sears.

    RIP box box outdoor suppliers. We will miss your destination stores. They were something to see.

    • M.M.D.C.

      “We will miss your destination stores.” Me too. Ammo has been much easier to come by around here since GM came to town.

      All the “Mom and Pop” gun shops won’t, though.

      • Todd Poulton

        All those Mom and Pop stores you reference don’t have the legal networks of big companies like GM, BPS, and Cabela’s. When leftist government agencies and NGOs attack them and the only organization sticking up for them is the NRA, then the NRA lawyers and lobbyists are vastly outnumbered…..We the People need those big box stores wanting to serve our 2A purchases now more than ever……

    • Rick O’Shay

      People keep saying GM is going under. I’ve yet to actually see any legit proof that they are. Until they make the court filing, they haven’t gone bankrupt.

      That said, they’re smoking something, what with the way their prices are.

      • Ryan L

        Who knows Gander is controlled by the Erickson Family who also own Holiday Gas stations I believe. My guess is the family could afford to support the debt if they believed that a turnaround was probable.

  • BattleshipGrey

    How’s about they give me a million dollars to review the numbers, I’ll tell .gov “nothing to worry about”, the sale commenses and everybody wins. Oh, and I get to pick the gun of my choosing from their inventory. Did I forget anything?

    • Marc

      Ammo for life?

  • iksnilol

    Can… can I at least put the horses down? My arms are killing me.

    • Evan

      This is a cheesy joke but this kind of stuff is the reason I love the comments of TFB articles.

      • iksnilol

        Can’t have a cheesy joke without a good crust. So thank you.

  • M-dasher

    ah nothing like the govt’ destroying the idea of freemarket capatalism……

    • Bean Guy

      Monopolies don’t help anyone but the owners and shareholders.

      • Phillip Cooper

        20 percent of a market is HARDLY a monopoly.

        You’re posting from an Apple product, aren’t you?

      • M-dasher

        ….and we live in 2017…..where i have access to literally thousands of out door retailers via the internet….nothing forces me to buy at only brick and mortar retailer…..

        • Toxie

          Unless you live in the largest shooting population in the ‘states – California.

      • Lobo Rojo

        What monopoly? What does Cabela’s sell that you can’t find a bajillion other stores? Camping gear, canoes, camouflage clothing, cartridges, cameras, cabin decor, cargo racks, canopies, cabinets, casual footware, craws, calls, cast iron cookware, coolers, cutlery. There’s clearly no cause to cry “monopoly!”

    • Kyle

      Monopolies are terrible for consumers.

      • Seth Hill

        Sounds like someone needs to get educated:

        monopoly
        [muh-nop-uh-lee]
        noun, plural monopolies.
        1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.
        Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
        2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
        3. the exclusive possession or control of something.
        4. something that is the subject of such control, as a commodity or service.
        5. a company or group that has such control.
        6. the market condition that exists when there is only one seller.

        • GaryOlson

          I would say that 20% of the market fits control as specified in #1 listed above. Thereby creating monopoly power

          • M-dasher

            you conveniently left out the “exclusive” bit of that statement…..

          • me

            You seem to have missed the ‘or’ operand prior to the second part of definition #1.

          • Dirk Dasterdly

            They neither have “exclusive control” NOR a control that can manipulate prices. Small B&Ms like us and (unfortunately) the online stores kick the crap out of Bass Pro, Gander, et al. There is no price fixing possible from them. We sell for less than any of those big box stores. The only thing they beat us on is when they buy 10,000 Rem 870 express shotguns and sell them below our cost. That’s 1 out of about 6000 guns though. So operand be damned. It wouldn’t create a monopoly. Big box retailers in this market will cease to exist in 10 years because the internet will kill them. of course, that means you’ll have to ship your boat or canoe somehow. The internet is taking huge proportions of higher margin items they count on (ammo, accessories, clothing, etc). The only thing gun stores will have left are items too big to ship and gun ranges. Our sister business is a feed store and it’s protected in the sense that it’s not practical to ship a $7.99 50# bag of feed or 100 50# hay bales that we sell for $8.00. But our smalls are getting killed by online sellers (supplements, wraps, tack, clothing, etc). Nearly half of my 4473s are transfers these days. Online is what will kill the B&Ms, not some 20% high priced “monopoly”.

          • Mel Kimlinger

            Hardly.

            You obviously failed math consistently in school, though I would expect this out of most of the participants here.

      • LGonDISQUS

        Tell the government about utilities and phone companies.

        Although it would blow my mind to have the option to purchase my water from a second operation…

      • Lobo Rojo

        Government is the biggest monopoly of all.

  • DUN DUN… okay, maybe not actually done.

  • Bigg Bunyon

    Oh wow, really … who didn’t see this coming?

  • J.T.

    There are people that didn’t expect this to happen?

  • Justin

    I’m personally glad I never got a Cabela’s credit card. I get a bad taste in my mouth whenever I think about capital one. I got burned by them when I was first starting out, low limit credit card with a yearly fee that was almost half of credit limit. canceled it after a few years and then got a bill one day for the yearly fee. apparently the canceled the card but not the account or the yearly fee… spent a few weeks of back and forth before that got worked out.

  • Vet for Trump

    What’s a credit card?
    I use a debit card. Can only spend what money I have.

  • Jim Slade

    I don’t know about the corporate finance end, but just as a consumer & shopper-
    I live in a market that currently has both stores (Kansas City metro), and i was mildly dreading this takeover because i think Bass Pro sucks compared to Cabela’s.
    Prices, selection, service…. pretty much across the board.
    Just my opinion, but i have both to choose from and could give a dam about Bass Pro.

    • Toxie

      I agree. Cabela’s is just a much better store.

  • Keiichi

    FYI – “in October 2017 this year” is redundant.
    Thanks from the folks at the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • Ed Ward

    New POTUS is a deal-maker so he needs to mediate this merger 😉 right after he pulls America out of the crapper resulting from eight long years of the infamous BHO…

    • .45

      The infamous Bolt Hold Open? You’re an AK lover then?

      • Ed Ward

        I would laugh but I’m still recovering from the two-term nightmare that was BHO 😉 …Give me a bit more time…

      • durabo

        Buttcrack Hussein O’Bunghole?

  • mazkact

    Meanwhile in Wisconsin the Viking Gary Olen is watching……..plotting world domination possibly through an alliance with Johnny Morris.

  • MarcoPolo

    I am against too much market consolidation, but can someone explain to me how two sporting goods stores merging (out of hundreds) is a problem whereas the only two satellite radio companies in the world (Sirius & XM) merging was ok.

    • Silence Dogood

      Man are Americans are dense these days. We have NEW president with a NEW philosophy. That means a new FTC and Justice Dept. Why do so many people not understand even the most basic of government functions? Sheez

    • Lobo Rojo

      Satellite radio competes with terrestrial radio and cellular data service. It doesn’t matter that they are using different technology; they’re providing the same service that is available from many other companies. And if some other company wanted to come along and offer their own satellite radio, why couldn’t they?

  • Bob

    the FTC didn’t care too much when I worked for a “strategic company” that made aircraft connectors for all of boeing (military and commercial). They let the foreigners buy them out and put 700 of us out into the street on unemployment. These were HIGH PAYING manufacturing and engineering jobs!!
    I find it interesting that the Fed Govt cares more about fishing bait then “strategic aircraft components”!!!

    • glenn cheney

      They figure they don’t have to worry about aircraft components, as they have a standing parts inventory at museums and static displays.
      Sigh.

    • Silence Dogood

      Bob, get educated will ya? Trump has stated publicly that to strengthen capitalism, his administration is going to be enforcing antitrust laws to ensure a healthy, competitive market, something Obama completely ignored. That’s why you’re seeing this with Cabelas and will see it across the board. It will be great for America and bad for globalism.

  • Hanzo

    We have a Cabela’s and a Bass Pro within 5 miles of each other. I don’t see a problem. 🙂

    • Silence Dogood

      It’s called “competition.” Without it we all get shafted.

      • Lobo Rojo

        This will have no noticeable effect on competition. What is to stop some other store from competing with them?

        • Silence Dogood

          You utopian libertarians have an excuse for everything don’t you? How’d that globalism experiment work out for the country? I rest my case

          • Lobo Rojo

            Well, if going by the evidence of the last 50 years, it has apparently worked out pretty well. Because trade brings peoples together, the world is a less violent place. Mortality rates are down, lifespans have increased. The liberation of women has spread and improved. Race relations have improved. There’s less child labor. The poor and middle classes are wealthier than ever, including in America. The evidence also shows that open trade policies are associated with faster economic growth. The economic problems America does have are primarily a result of monetary expansion, red tape, and labor regulations.

          • Silence Dogood

            Boy, am I good or what? Had you pegged exactly. A true propagandist for globalism if I ever saw one.

            All of your economic claims are easily debunked and are false, and your “The liberation of women has spread and improved.” comment shows your Marxist/Leftist/Neo-Con roots.

            Anything good from the last 50 years was due to the strong residual economic effect that started after WWII before petering off in the 1970s when globalism really started to take effect.

            Globalism might have made YOU and your greedy, amoral buddies rich pal, but it destroyed the middle class and forced both adults in a household to work in order to have the same spending power as one adult did during pre-globalist times.

            It also caused a generation of children to be raised by low-IQ morons in daycare centers. Many of these children grew up to be the first wave of mass shooters in America. That should make you REAL proud buddy. I hope all that money was worth being a traitor to the country that gave you everything. Personally I think you are slime.

          • Lobo Rojo

            You’re quite proud of yourself for figuring out something about which I’m quite open. Well good for you.

            Again, there are 50 years of data backing up what I’ve said. And if you honestly doubt it, I’ll be happy to provide you with links to numerous studies for each point above. Furthermore, I know that you will be hard-pressed to provide counterfactual data, because there really isn’t any. Among those who study these matters as a profession, my statements above are non-controversial.

            The liberation of women – that is, ensuring they are treated equally under law, and have the same economic opportunities – is not only an ethically praiseworthy goal, but it also benefits children and the economy overall. Perhaps you support having women in burqas, but that’s simply an indefensible goal.

            Since 1966, the median income per person has increased 167%, after adjusting for purchasing power and inflation. And going back to at least 1975, we can see the percent of American households in the poor and middle classes has dropped as the percent of households in the upper class ($100k+ in today’s dollars) has increased.

            For young children with working mothers, the percentage of children raised in the home by a parent or relative has remained relatively unchanged in the last 40 years. The only major change is that the percentage of children raised in the home by a non-relative has decreased while the percent of children raised in daycare centers has increased.
            During that same time, the time that mothers spent caring for their children has increased, even as the time they spent working a job has increased.

            And however you feel about that, people are getting more intelligent, too, as IQ tests have shown. It’s a slow but steady trend that has continued unabated in the US (and most other countries) for more than a century, and this is something that has been very well documented.
            For lower-class children, being put in daycare is correlated with greater educational attainment and financial success later in life. This is probably due to the benefits of having higher household income that comes with having a working mother.

            So, to recap: Things have improved in the last 50 years, and that includes large improvements since the 1970s (rather than a decline as you believe).

          • Lobo Rojo

            You are quite proud of yourself for figuring out something about which I’m quite open. Well good for you.

            Again, there are 50 years of data backing up what I’ve said. And if you honestly doubt it, I’ll be happy to provide you with links to numerous studies for each point above. Furthermore, I know that you will be hard-pressed to provide counter-factual data, because there really isn’t any. Among those who study these matters as a profession, my statements above are non-controversial.

            The liberation of women – that is, ensuring they are treated equally under law, and have the same economic opportunities – is not only an ethically praiseworthy goal, but it also benefits children and the economy overall. Perhaps you support having women in burqas, but that’s simply an indefensible goal.

            Since 1966, the median income per person has increased 167%, after adjusting for purchasing power and inflation. And going back to at least 1975, we can see the percent of American households in the poor and middle classes has dropped as the percent of households in the upper class ($100k+ in today’s dollars) has increased.

            For young children with working mothers, the percentage of children raised in the home by a parent or relative has remained relatively unchanged in the last 40 years. The only major change is that the percentage of children raised in the home by a non-relative has decreased while the percent of children raised in daycare centers has increased.
            During that same time, the time that mothers spent caring for their children has increased, even as the time they spent working a job has increased.

            And however you feel about that, people are getting more intelligent, too, as IQ tests have shown. It’s a slow but steady trend that has continued unabated in the US (and most other countries) for more than a century, and this is something that has been very well documented.
            For lower-class children, being put in daycare is correlated with greater educational attainment and financial success later in life. This is probably due to the benefits of having higher household income that comes with having a working mother.

            So, to recap: Things have improved in the last 50 years, and that includes large improvements since the 1970s (rather than a decline as you believe).

            And getting back to your original post… You lamented that the lack of competition is bad for us. Yet this statement is at odds with your opposition to globalization, which increases competition. In contrast, protectionist policies supported by economically-illiterate anti-globalists are a large-scale repression of market competition and have demonstrably negative impacts on a nation’s economy.

      • Hanzo

        It’s called sarcasm, get it?

        As far as being worried about Bass Pro having a monopoly …. meh. Together they never brought in 20% of the billions spent on outdoor gear, much less firearms. If you think these 2 retailers are the biggest in the business, think again.

  • Edeco

    Aw man, one group controls both, they could really spank the consumer for beanie hats and golf balls.

    (/sarc) As others have pointed out this isn’t the same as a monopoly on steel, the grounds for the FTC to nose around is an anachronism in this case.

  • Kafir1911

    Several years ago I visited the Cabelas near Detroit. Loved the store but did not buy anything as I thought it was bit high. I was really thrown off track seeing the FIVE Thousand dollar dog trailer out front.

  • Silence Dogood

    Trump has stated publicly that to strengthen capitalism, his administration is going to be enforcing antitrust laws, something Obama completely ignored. That’s why you’re seeing this with Cabelas and will see it across the board. It will be great for America and bad for globalism.

    • Lobo Rojo

      This will be bad for both consumers and employees. The cost of goods will go up, people will consume less, and jobs will be lost.

  • durabo

    I would not even PISS on Capital One, the company whose spokesman on TV commercials is uber-racist, anti-white Samuel A. Jackson..

    • Lobo Rojo

      Jackson is 100% not anti-white. He’s anti-racist, which puts him at odds with a very large number of white people. But he’s not anti-white in any way, shape, or form.

      • durabo

        You have not been listening too closely to him, Red Wolf: Jackson rants against whites in a vicious way.

        • Lobo Rojo

          I have been listening closely, and he has not said anything against whites as a race; only against specific white people.

  • dltaylor51

    I will be burning my Cabela’s card as soon as I clear the balance.

  • Todd Poulton

    This is the Federal Government, still largely under control of the loony Obama Appointees and their corrupt promotion system, blocking companies that sell guns from conducting standard business; this is an attempt to make one gun company lose money while another goes out of business instead of being bought by other people willing to sell firearms and other items “crazy conservatives” want to purchase…..and any attempts to save Gander Mountain by anyone that would continue to sell guns through that company will also be blocked by agencies of ineptitude…….

    You heard it here first…

  • Dirk Dasterdly

    Unlike many other industries, I don’t think we should feel threatened by this merger. We have a small gun shop and while Academy and GM/BP/Cabelas beat us in sales, it’s due to advertising power. We are actually lower priced and offer better service. We just don’t have the advertising budget. But everyone that does come in becomes a customer (compared to shopping big box). The real monopoly is the collective power of the online retailers. If I’m required to sell a $1000 scope at MAP, the tax on that is $72. Of course my customer will buy online to save that money and have it shipped straight to his house…after he probably came in my shop and talked to me for an hour and wanted to look through it and get his cheetos fingers all over my inventory. They don’t have the same proportional overhead with having retail space. If the FTC wants to fix an unfair advantage, fix the damn online sales tax loophole. But the big box stores aren’t want will unfairly compete with the little guys,even if they consolidated into just one store. Blockbuster was basically the last of the video stores and look what happened to them because of streaming and kiosk rentals. Let the merger happen.

  • Shayne

    I am sorry, but I see two over-priced retailers and one over-priced retailer going under, and my reaction is, “I don’t care.” The sales prices of these three big companies are still higher then my local veteran owned gun shop, so I am going with local at a lower cost.

    And if someone mentions that stupid price match please read the rules on the company’s own website. Gander Mtn specifically excludes firearms, so unless you get an idiot mgr who hasn’t read the rules he can turn you down.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    There is still that outside chance it won’t take place, I will keep my fingers crossed!

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Gander Mtn., Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Dick’s, Scheel’s . . . those are the only chains that come to mind where I live. To of them have no stores in my state, only on-line sales. In my opinion, Dick’s really does not compete with any of them for what I go to those other brands for. Dick’s technically does not exist to me. Cabela’s, Bass & Sportsmen’s Warehouse are in competition, and Sportsmen’s Warehouse is actually a rebirth over the past decade due to poor performance. A little thought of entity Big 5 has been closing stores all around the area, but still remains. Personally, the merger should be prevented. If they grew too big for their own good, oh well, quit being so greedy. Bass Pro is looking for an easy way to rake in (B)millions where they have little to no presence (western USA), by acquiring Cabela’s. Maybe they all just need to do what Gander is doing; close a few stores where they are too close to others and the sales $$’s do not support the store.