Media reports Wednesday indicated that Synovus Financial Corp. has become involved in the $5.5 billion deal involving Bass Pro Shops’ acquisition of outdoor and sporting goods competitor Cabela’s.
The Wall Street Journal and Reuters both reported, using unnamed sources, that the Southeast regional bank, headquartered here in Columbus, is in negotiations for a portion of Cabela’s financial business.
Synovus spokesman Lee Underwood, reached shortly after the online news reports, said he had seen them, but that the company declined to comment.
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The merger between the two retailers, announced last October, has come under intense regulatory scrutiny with the involvement of Capitol One, perhaps putting the deal in jeopardy.
But the reports Wednesday said Synovus could possibly purchase Cabela’s financial unit, which includes a portfolio of store-branded credit cards, then turn around and sell the card business to Capital One. Synovus would then reportedly retain about $1 billion in deposits held by the Cabela’s financial operation — Lincoln, Neb.-based World’s Foremost Bank.
Synovus, parent company of Columbus Bank and Trust, oversees about $30 billion in assets through its 28 locally branded divisions in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. The bank also once owned TSYS or Total System Services, a credit-card processor also headquartered in Columbus.
Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops, founded in 1972, has about 100 flagship stores and Tracker Marine Centers, primarily in the the eastern U.S. and Canada. It also operates Big Cedar Lodge, a wilderness resort in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.
Sydney, Neb.-based Cabela’s, founded in 1961, has grown to 85 specialty retail stores, most of them in the western U.S. and Canada. It also has catalog and e-commerce businesses.