Sportsman’s Warehouse merger with Bass Pro Shops collapses
The planned merger between the owner of Bass Pro Shops and Sportsman’s Warehouse, first announced a year ago, has collapsed.
Sportsman’s Warehouse and the Great Outdoors Group, the parent company of Bass Pro Shops, have terminated the drawn-out deal after the US Federal Trade Commission refused to give it clearance.
It has been a costly experience for The Great Outdoors Group, which will pay a $55 million termination fee. Its acquisition of the 112-store chain was first announced in December 2020, with a joint press release saying the driver behind the move was that the two companies shared similar histories, geographic footprints and complementary business ideals. Both businesses are immersed in the fishing, boating, camping, hunting and other outdoor markets and share a strong commitment to conservation.
“This merger brings together the greatest brands in the outdoor industry,” said Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO Jon Barker at the time. “We look forward to a smooth transition and building our partnership.”
Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris described the agreement as ‘an unprecedented alliance’ that would ‘protect millions of acres of wildlife habitat every year’.
Following news of the collapse, Sportsman’s Warehouse shares slumped 2.6% to $16.50. The Utah-based business had a market value of $743 million at the close of trading in New York. The chain, founded in 1993, has stores in 27 states, mostly across the western US.
The news comes at a time when retail businesses are already under pressure from supply chain problems and labour shortages. The merger is the latest casualty after President Biden signed an executive order in July calling on regulators to boost competition in industries, blaming unchecked consolidation for harming consumers, workers and small businesses.