SIDNEY, Neb. – U.S. antitrust regulators have ended their investigation into Bass Pro Shops’ $4 billion deal to buy Cabela’s, Cabela’s said Wednesday.
The Nebraska-based chain said the Federal Trade Commission signed off on the deal earlier this week, but banking regulators still haven’t approved one part of the transaction.
Cabela’s shareholders will vote on the deal, which would pay them $61.50 per share, next Tuesday.
Stifel Nicholas analyst Jim Duffy said gaining FTC approval makes it much more likely that the merger of the two outdoor gear selling rivals will be completed.
In addition to selling Cabela’s stores, website and catalog business to Bass Pro, the company plans to sell its credit card unit.
In November 2007, Cabela’s opened its Post Falls location. Bass Pro has not disclosed what plans are in the works for individual locations.
Ultimately, the deal calls for the credit card business to be sold to Capital One. But first a Georgia-based bank named Synovus will buy the unit as a middleman. Synovus will hold onto the credit card unit’s $1.2 billion in deposits before reselling it to Capital One.
Late last year, banking regulators had questioned the sale to Capital One because of an unrelated issue with that bank. Regulators haven’t said whether the new arrangement involving Synovus addresses their concerns.
The deal is expected to close later this year. It’s not clear how many of the roughly 2,000 jobs based in Cabela’s hometown of Sidney, Nebraska, will remain afterward.
Privately held Bass Pro is based in Springfield, Missouri.
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