Sportsman’s Warehouse Merging With Bass Pro Parent

I missed this when it was released on Monday, December 21st. The Sportsman’s Warehouse has agreed to be bought for cash by Great American Outdoors Group. This is the private holding company that owns Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, White River Marine (Tracker boats), and a number of resorts. It is headed by Bass Pro Shop’s founder Johnny Morris.

From their release:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. and WEST JORDAN, Utah, Dec. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In an effort to better serve its loyal customers, Sportsman’s Warehouse has entered into a definitive agreement to join the Great American Outdoors Group, parent company of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, White River Marine Group and a collection of nature-based resorts. The Great American Outdoors Group will remain a private company with a long-term view to do what is best for its customers, team members and conservation initiatives. As part of the agreement, Sportsman’s Warehouse will be acquired for $18.00 per share in cash.

The driving force behind the partnership is the two companies’ similar histories and highly complementary business philosophies and geographic footprints. Both entities share a passion with their customers for fishing, camping, hunting, boating and other outdoor activities. Likewise, both are highly acclaimed retailers with well-deserved reputations for a broad offering of outstanding brand name and proprietary products, superior customer service, deeply knowledgeable team members and an unwavering passion for conservation. Uniting together represents an unprecedented “win-win” opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts.

“We are excited to be joining the Great American Outdoors Group. This merger brings together the greatest brands in the outdoor industry. As we look to the future, the combined entities provide our passionate associates with greater opportunities to serve the outdoor enthusiast. I couldn’t be more proud of the nearly 8,000 Sportsman’s Warehouse associates and their success in building our brand over the last 33 years. We look forward to a smooth transition and building our partnership,” said Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO Jon Barker.

“Today is a happy day for our companies, outdoor enthusiasts and for the cause of conservation,” said Bass Pro Shops Founder and Great American Outdoors Group Leader, Johnny Morris. “As outdoor sports specialists with unwavering dedication to people who fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors, we greatly admire the passionate team at Sportsman’s Warehouse for their commitment to their customers and the sports we all love. 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,” added Morris.

You may remember that Sportsman’s Warehouse was the winning bidder for the Tapco brand in the Remington bankruptcy auction. I’m not sure what their intention was for the brand but I’m thinking that it has more possibilities now that Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have been added to the mix.

As might be expected in any buyout, a couple of law firms have announced that they are seeking plaintiffs in an effort to sue Sportsman’s Warehouse’s board for breach of fiduciary duties. In other words, they sue, there is a settlement, and the law firms – not the shareholders – get the bulk of the money.