The nation’s largest RV service center and dealer now owns one of America’s biggest outdoor retail networks.
Last week, Illinois-based Camping World, Inc. won a bankruptcy auction for St. Paul-based Gander Mountain, Inc. for a reported $390 million, according to the Star Tribune.
Gander Mountain, which has 162 locations across the country, filed for bankruptcy in March and said it would close 32 stores. Sources close to the dealings who asked to remain anonymous told the Star Tribune that Camping World planned to continue operating, and assume the leases of at least 17 Gander Mountain stores with options to keep the others open based on profitability.
Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World, told the Wall Street Journal it’s likely at least half of Gander’s 160 stores won’t survive.
Camping World Buys Gander Mountain Brand
Camping World’s winning bid beat out rival Sportsman’s Warehouse and marks the latest consolidation in the outdoor retail industry. This year, Bass Pro Shops will complete a $5.5 billion purchase of Cabela’s, making it the largest combined outdoors chain in the country, with 177 stores. Last month, the U.K.’s largest outdoor retailer, Sports Direct, purchased Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s Sports for $101 million.
Camping World, which had revenue over $3.5 billion in 2016, now owns all the intellectual property of a recognized outdoor hunting and camping brand, adding more non-motorized outdoor recreation identity to its RV-centered business.
Gander Mountain listed its assets and liabilities each in excess of $1 billion and employed more than 5,000 employees.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court must still approve the auction results.