Bass Pro Shops is buying Cabela’s for $5.5 billion

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Bass Pro Shops is buying Cabela's in a $5.5 billion deal that brings together two prominent outfitters for the great outdoors.

Bass Pro Shops sells fishing supplies, and Cabela's is a hunting store known for its taxidermy displays. There's plenty of crossover -- especially because both companies sell guns and ammunition.

About this time last year, Cabela's in Oklahoma City was celebrating its grand opening.

Reports show that Cabela's has struggled with declining sales, something Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid feared would happen.

Shadid was against the store moving to OKC because of its business model.

Now, he says the city is studying the noncompete contract with Bass Pro because the city's deal with Bass Pro prohibits another Bass Pro shop within a 75 mile radius.

Shadid says the agreement was meant to keep tax dollars within Oklahoma City limits.

Now, some are wondering about the sales tax incentives that were given to each business.

"We entered into an agreement in July 2014 with Cabela's, and they opened the store about a year ago and we anticipate things to continue as planned with Cabela's," said Brent Bryant, with the City of Oklahoma City's Economic Development.

Regardless of ownership, the city reimburses each business 1.2 % of all taxable sales until $3.5 million is reached or 10 years has passed.

Bass Pro tells KFOR that it is too early to say whether the name of Cabela's will change, but they say they will still use the Cabela brand. However, they are not sure at what capacity.

Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, assured customers in an open letter that "there will be no immediate impact to our stores."

The companies did not immediately respond to CNNMoney messages about whether any of Cabela's 19,000 employees would eventually be laid off or any of its 85 U.S. and Canadian stores closed.

Bass Pro Shops, which is privately held, said it would honor Cabela's rewards cards, warranties and credit cards.

Much of Cabela's merchandise is camouflage and camping gear, including tents and bear-proof food kegs. The company is also known for its so-called gun libraries, green-walled rooms with antique guns for sale, including firearms from both World Wars.

The deal is being financed by Goldman Sachs and Pamplona.

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