SIDNEY, Neb. (AP) — Bass Pro Shops' chief executive said he will match donations by former Cabela's executives and owners to a severance fund for some Cabela's workers who are losing their jobs after Bass Pro bought the rival outdoor retailer.
Bass Pro Shops has said some employees in Sidney, Nebraska, where Cabela's was headquartered, will likely lose their jobs as a result of the $5 billion deal that closed in September. Bass has said it will keep its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.
Cabela's has been headquartered for decades in Sidney and employed as many as 2,000 people in the town of about 6,700 people that's some 365 miles west of Omaha. The largest city in the Panhandle region where Sydney is located is Scottsbluff, a community of approximately 15,000 people that's about 80 miles to the northwest.
Bass Pro said it has already committed an additional $10 million on top of its normal severance program to help the Sidney employees. The Omaha World-Herald reported Wednesday that Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris has asked former Cabela's executives who got large "golden parachutes" or profits from their Cabela's stock sale to contribute to the severance fund.
"While I know the former owners and executives are under no obligation to lend this additional support, I hope they consider doing so," Morris said in a statement.
One of the former Cabela's executives joining Bass Pro is chief financial officer Ralph Castner. He told the newspaper he would discuss the issue with Morris. The other executives and family members couldn't be reached.
Bass Pro hasn't said exactly how many Cabela's workers will lose their jobs. The company will keep open all Nebraska retail stores, call centers and the distribution center in Sidney, according to a document sent to employees. It also will retain 125 Cabela's information technology employees and some accounting and finance staffers.
Bass Pro also has said it will donate empty Cabela's buildings to Sidney to help recruit new businesses to the city.