Since learning Bass Pro Shops was buying Cabela’s some months ago, we also haven't heard anymore about Bass Pro opening a store at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem. But Jim Shepherd, editor/owner of The Outdoor Wire and who was one of the original founders of The Golf Channel, wrote in a recent column about these two outdoor retail giants and his comments are as follows:
I was writing an undated obituary for the Bass Pro Shop/Cabela's deal- until a last minute decision by Georgia-based Synovus Financial Corporation to buy the Cabela's credit-card business seems to have pulled the deal out of the proverbial fire.
Most people forget the mega-merger of outdoor retailers Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's was really an intertwined two-part sale: BPS would take the retail business, and Capital One would buy the credit card business.
The second part of the deal ran into trouble because of money-laundering allegations (and an ongoing investigation) at Capital One. Their timetable had slipped to the point the deal seemed in serious trouble.
Now Georgia-based Synovus Financial Corporation has stepped in to buy the credit card portion. It's one of those deals I'd like to make: Synovus buys the Cabela's credit card business, then turns around and re-sells it to Capital One. That avoids a more in-depth review of the deal by regulators.
In exchange, Synovus keeps around $1 billion (yes, billion) in deposits held by the Cabela's bank - and grows from a $30 billion dollar bank to a $31 billon dollar depository- three plus percent growth on a single business turn is nothing to sneeze at.
At that point, Johnny Morris and BPS takes over Cabela's - and the $3.6 billion in business Cabela's generated last year. If/when that happens, count on a brief period of stability, followed by the inevitable "combination of operational areas" - and another glut of available retail space.
Since I know Shepherd through membership in Professional Outdoor Media Association, he is a businessman and knows business and has numerous contacts in the business and investment world. As such, his insights are normally right on and that this could be a done deal.
YOUTH FISHING DERBY
South Whitehall Township Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a free Youth Fishing Derby on April 22 at Covered Bridge Park at Wehr’s Dam.
The derby kicks off promptly at 8:45 a.m. with registration at Pavilion #2 beginning at 8:00 a.m.. Contests with prizes will be awarded for biggest fish and other categories.
According to Page Durflinger, South Whitehall Parks and Recreation Program Specialist, there will be between 450-500 trout stocked from the County of Lehigh’s Cedarbrook Co-Op Nursery. To participate, children need to be accompanied by a responsible adult and that person does not have to have a Pa. fishing license. However, participants must bring their own equipment and bait, the latter of which can be obtained at nearby Bob's Taxidermy in Orefield.
There will be food and refreshments available on-site for purchase. For questions about the free event, contact the South Whitehall Parks and Recreation Department at the township office on Walbert Avenue.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.