Cabela’s Opens Books to Bass Pro Shops

According to a report from the New York Post, retail giant Cabela’s has opened their books to Bass Pro Shops in the hopes of being acquired.

In a story posted today at, staff writer Josh Kosman says that Cabela’s has been actively working with Bass Pro Shops towards a deal. The report also cites unnamed sources that claim Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris has long sought to purchase his largest rival.

Cabela’s drew attention in February when news broke that company chairman Jim Cabela had moved 11.2 million shares into charitable trusts in 2015.

Morris has a reputation for streamlining business operations—a trait that would likely improve margins at the 77-store Cabela’s chain, which experts say is less efficient than the larger Bass Pro Shops. One of the first signs of streamlining strategy? Going through the books.

If the deal goes down as speculated, Bass Pro Shops would shake up the fishing industry once again, as it did after acquiring the Ranger, Triton and Stratos boat brands in 2014. When that transaction took place, the industry questioned what Morris would do with each competing brand. Thus far, they have shared some technology but remained in operation as separate brands. Industry experts believe Morris would likely pursue a similar strategy with Cabela’s.