September 29, 2016 / 7:40 PM / 3 years ago

Exclusive: Cabela's set to receive two binding acquisition bids-sources

A customer stops to check the advertisement of sale items inside a Cabela's store on the shopping day dubbed "Black Friday" in Forth Worth, Texas November 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

(Reuters) - Two consortia have formed to make offers to buy Cabela’s Inc CAB.N this week, people familiar with the matter said, making the sale of the U.S. outdoor gear retailer, which has been targeted by activist fund Elliott Management Corp, more likely.

Privately held retailer Bass Pro Shops, which has partnered with Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N) private equity arm, is now working on a bid with U.S. bank Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N), which is interested in Cabela’s credit card business, the sources said on Thursday.

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has formed its own consortium with U.S. credit card company Synchrony Financial (SYF.N) to make an offer, the sources added. Binding bids for Cabela’s are due this week, the people said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Cabela’s, Goldman Sachs, Sycamore and Synchrony declined comment. Capital One and Bass Pro were not immediately available for comment.

Cabela’s shares jumped as much as 4.5 percent on the news and were trading up 2.9 percent at $53.86 in late afternoon trading in New York on Thursday, giving the company a market capitalization of $3.7 billion.

Sidney, Nebraska-based Cabela’s said last December that it was working with investment bank Guggenheim Securities LLC to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, following pressure from Elliott.

Cabela’s was founded in 1961 by Dick Cabela and has roughly 80 stores in 36 U.S. states and nine in Canada. It also runs a large catalog business, which contributes roughly 24 percent of sales.

Cabela’s also owns a credit card business called World’s Foremost Bank. This had nearly 2 million accounts with roughly $5 billion in loans and $502 million in revenue in 2015, according to the company’s latest annual report.

Springfield, Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops was founded in 1971 by Johnny Morris, who still owns most of the company. Bass Pro has roughly 100 stores across North America. Reuters reported last November that Bass Pro was exploring a bid for Cabela’s.

Reporting by Mike Stone in New York; Additional reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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