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UPDATE: Outdoor Giant Bass Pro to acquire rival Cabela’s for $5.5 billion

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UPDATE: Outdoor gear giant Bass Pro is snapping up rival Cabela's in a $5.5 billion deal announced Monday. 

It wasn't long ago when Cabela's in Fort Oglethorpe saw a line wrapped around the building.   

READ MORE | Bass Pro Shops opens in East Ridge 2016

More than 100 people camped out overnight, for the grand opening in May of last year. 
some loyal customers stood in line for three days. 

In a twist, that no one saw coming. Cabela's is now merging with outdoor gear giant Bass Pro Shops.

READ MORE | Cabela's opens in Fort O 2015

"That's crazy, I never would have suspected that ever," said customer Gregory Scott. " It kind of makes me sad, I always liked Cabela's better than Bass Pro. 

The deal will give Cabela's share holders about $65.50 in cash per share and as part of the deal, Capital One will take over Cabela's credit cards.  According to Bass Pro officials, credit cards and loyalty programs will not change. 

"I'm sure it will hurt people in this area," said customer Mike Anno. " It will also hurt competition." 

Customers like Mike Anno, worry about the price of certain items going up and the number of local jobs going down. 

" I would think one of the stores is going to close," said Anno. 

Channel 3's request for comment was not answered Monday. Right now it's unclear what new changes the buyout will bring. However, Bass Pro did take to Twitter Monday to tell its customers,

"It's business as usual at Bass Pro and Cabela's, there will be no immediate impact to our stores."

 The CEO for Bass Pro says he hopes to continue  growing the Cabela's brand along side his own Springfield Missouri based chain.

Nation wide Bass Pro Shops has about 99 stores and 20 thousand employees.

Cabela's has about 85 stores and had about 19 thousand ,700 employees at the end of 2015.

PREVIOUS STORY: Outdoor gear giant Bass Pro is snapping up rival Cabela's in a $4.5 billion deal announced Monday.

Bass Pro is paying Cabela's shareholders $65.50 cash per share, a 19 percent premium to Friday's closing price. The deal combines two companies known for their giant destination superstores.

It also creates uncertainty about jobs in Cabela's home state of Nebraska. The combined companies plan to keep some operations in Sidney and Lincoln, Nebraska, but it's not immediately clear how many jobs might be lost.

Cabela's employs about 2,000 people in the western Nebraska town of Sidney, which has about 7,000 residents. State Sen. Ken Schilz, who represents the area, said the news is concerning because of the duplication between the two companies' headquarters that will be eliminated.

"We'll just have to wait and see what Bass Pro does. I'm sure most folks in Sidney are pretty nervous this morning," Schilz said.

Activist investment firm Elliott Management began pushing for significant changes at Cabela's last fall. Elliott owns 7.4 percent of Cabela's shares and holds options to buy another 3.8 percent.

Bass Pro founder and CEO Johnny Morris said he hopes to continue growing the Cabela's brand alongside his privately-held Springfield, Missouri, based chain.

"The story of each of these companies could only have happened in America, made possible by our uniquely American free enterprise system," Morris said. "We have enormous admiration for Cabela's, its founders and outfitters, and its loyal base of customers."

Capital One will take over running Cabela's credit card unit as part of the deal, which is backed by $1.8 billion in financing from Goldman Sachs and another $600 million from private equity fund Pamplona Capital.

Cabela's was founded in 1961 when Dick Cabela started selling fishing flies through the mail from his kitchen table with his wife, Mary, and brother, Jim.

Bass Pro got its start in 1971 when Morris began selling high-quality fishing tackle in his dad's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri.

Morris developed a following in the Ozarks region - its lakes and rich streams a haven for anglers - created the Bass Pro Shop Catalog in 1974 and opened the first of his now 99 stores in Springfield seven years later.

Morris also introduced the Bass Tracker fishing boat in 1978 that was designed specifically for fishermen. That led to the creation of the White River Marine Group.

Cabela's shares climbed $8.01, or 14.6 percent, to $62.94 in morning trading Monday.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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