They’re not crop input suppliers or machinery companies, but two big rivals in a market near and dear to farmers’ hearts have announced they’re consolidating.

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have entered an agreement which sees Bass Pro Shops acquire its rival in the hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation world to the tune of US$5.5 billion.

“Cabela’s is pleased to have found the ideal partner in Bass Pro Shops,” says Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO, in a news release issued Monday. “Having undertaken a thorough strategic review, during which we assessed a wide variety of options to maximize value, the board unanimously concluded that this combination with Bass Pro Shops is the best path forward for Cabela’s, its shareholders, outfitters, and customers.”

The arrangement would see the Cabela’s brand join Bass Pro Shops and its subsidiary boating brand, White River Marine Group. Bass Pro Shops says it intends to “celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand and will build on qualities that respective customers love most about Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.” (Editor’s note: we sincerely hope that means the continuation of the delicious smells of the Cabela’s shopping experience).

“Today’s announcement marks an exceptional opportunity to bring together three special companies with an abiding love for the outdoors and a passion for serving sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. “The story of each of these companies could only have happened in America, made possible by our uniquely American free enterprise system. We have enormous admiration for Cabela’s, its founders and outfitters, and its loyal base of customers. We look forward to continuing to celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand alongside Bass Pro Shops and White River as one unified outdoor family.”

Founded in 1961 by Dick, Mary, and Jim Cabela, Cabela’s operates 85 stores, primarily in the western U.S. and Canada. Bass Pro Shops has 99 stores and Tracker Marine Centers, with the geographic balance leaning more toward the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada.

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