Cabela's shareholders approve sale to Bass Pro Shops

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SIDNEY, Neb. (by release / KNEP) - The merger of Cabela's with Bass Pro Shops has received overwhelming support by the shareholders of the Sidney-based company.

While attendance at Tuesday's special stockholder's meeting was relatively sparse with about 40 people present, 54 million of Cabela's 68 million shares of common stock were represented, either in person or by proxy. More than 53 million shares were voted in favor of the merger, giving the proposal 78% approval. Only 154,000 shares were voted against the plan.

Following the vote, shareholders present were given the opportunity to speak or ask questions, but no one in the room took that opportunity. The approval by shareholders brings the Nebraska-based outdoors retailer one step closer to a sale to its longtime competitor, Bass Pro. The deal has been given the green light by the Federal Trade Commission, but a corresponding sale of World's Foremost Bank has yet to receive approval. Cabela's said it hopes to close on the sale in the third quarter this year.

Bass Pro announced in October 2016 that it would buy Cabela's for $5.5 billion, or $65.50 per share, including debt. The deal was restructured to an agreement for $61.50 per share.

Bass Pro has said that it plans to keep some operations in Sidney, but that the Cabela's headquarters will be consolidated with Bass Pro's in Springfield, Missouri. It's still unclear how many of the 2,000 jobs will remain in Sidney, a town of about 6,800.

World's Foremost Bank, which operates Cabela's credit card, will be sold to Synovus Financial Corp., and Capital One will operate the credit card receivables.