The merger between Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops and Nebraska-based Cabela’s is official.

Bass Pro Shops – Image courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

The latest round of regulatory approval happened earlier this month. Bass Pro’s official filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission happened today.

Bass Pro Shops founder and CEO Johnny Morris issued a statement today about the merger, in a news release.

“We are excited to unite these iconic American brands to better serve our loyal customers and fellow outdoor enthusiasts,” Morris says. “As we move forward, we are committed to retaining everything customers love about both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s by creating a ‘best-of-the-best’ experience that includes the superior products, outstanding customer service and exceptional value our customers have come to expect. We’re also deeply motivated by the potential to significantly advance key conservation initiatives.”

Morris just opened the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield last week. Former Presidents George W. Bush (R) and Jimmy Carter (D) and actor Kevin Costner were among those in attendance.

Johnny Morris founded Bass Pro Shops in 1972, in the back of his father’s Greene County liquor store. Cabela’s started in 1961, when Dick, Mary and Jim Cabela began a mail order service for outdoor products around their Nebraska kitchen table.

Today, Bass Pro Shops is the top national retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, with more than 100 retail and marine center locations across North America.

The Bass Pro website says the stores draw more than 120-million visitors annually.

Bass Pro Shops has six Missouri stores, including its Springfield headquarters. The other five stores are located in Springfield (near the headquarters), Branson, Columbia, Independence and St. Charles.

Cabela’s has one Missouri location, at the St. Louis Mills Mall in Hazelwood. That’s in north St. Louis County.

The Hazelwood Cabela’s has a 130,000 square foot showroom.