Bass Pro to Buy Cabela's for $5.5 Billion

Outdoor retailing giants to join forces

Cabelas and Bass Pro merger

It seems like it's been years since rumors began to swirl about a possible merger between the two giants in the outdoor retail game: Cabela's and Bass Prop Shops. Today, those rumors culminated in a real deal.

Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela's, paying holders of Cabela's stock $65.50 per share for a total buy value of approximately $5.5 billion.

What does this mean to the hunters and anglers who have established both of these iconic brands? While details regarding what a Bass Pro/Cabela's merger will physically look like still aren't available with any specifics, a joint media release issued by Cabela's and Bass Prop Shops seems to indicate that each brand will maintain its own identity:

"Following the closing of the transaction, Bass Pro Shops intends to celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand and will build on qualities that respective customers love most about Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. In addition, Bass Pro Shops recognizes the strength of Cabela’s CLUB Loyalty program and intends to honor Cabela’s customer rewards and sees potential over time to expand the program in the combined company."

The release also states that Cabela's will continue to "maintain important bases of operations in Sidney and Lincoln and hopes to continue the very favorable connections to those communities and the Cabela’s team members residing there."

Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops each have their own credit card and rewards programs. This merger will surely have consumers enrolled in those popular programs wondering what this means for them. According to the release, business as usual.

"All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction."

The deal is expected to be finalized early in 2017.