Camping World-led group wins bankruptcy auction for Gander Mountain

(Reuters) - The largest U.S. recreational vehicle dealer, Camping World Holdings Inc CWH.N, and a group of liquidators won a bankruptcy auction for sporting goods retailer Gander Mountain Co [GDMIN.UL] on Friday, according to a bankruptcy court filing.

The value of the winning bid was about $390 million, according to people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the details of the auction results. The Camping World-led group bested a going-concern bid for Gander Mountain from rival Sportsman's Warehouse Holdings Inc SPWH.O, the sources said.

Camping World, which is run by Marcus Lemonis, a star on CNBC TV’s reality show “The Profit,” plans to operate at least 17 Gander Mountain stores as a going concern, the sources said. An auction for Gander Mountain’s remaining more than 100 leases will be held later, the sources said.

The consortium also won all of Gander Mountain’s intellectual property and its Overton’s boating business, the sources said. Gander Mountain, which is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, bills itself as “America’s Firearm Superstore.”

Gander Mountain declined to comment and Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Camping World did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The auction results will require final approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court judge.

Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy in March with a plan to quickly sell itself after struggling with excess inventory and seeing its approximately 160 stores underperform. It listed assets and liabilities each worth up to $1 billion.

Within the retail sector, sporting goods is going through a period of consolidation and distress. Gander Mountain competitors including Sports Authority Inc and Eastern Mountain Sports also have filed for bankruptcy.

Financially healthy rivals Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's Inc CAB.N plan to merge this year in an approximately $5 billion deal.

Camping World, which has 120 R.V. SuperCenters across the U.S., raised $251 million last fall in an initial public offering.

Camping World sees synergies between its business, Gander Mountain and Overton’s, one of the people said.

Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Trott