Cabela’s files for IPO

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Cabela's Inc., the Nebraska-based retailer that bills itself as the largest U.S. direct marketer of camping and outdoor related gear, has filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to issue shares of common stock in an initial public offering, a story in Wednesday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

In its filing, Cabela’s said it expects to raise as much as $230 million in an initial public offering to fund its expansion, the article said.

The stock sale will be managed by Credit Suisse First Boston Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Cabela's spokesman Joe Arterburn declined to comment on the filing, the Pioneer Press reported.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the stock sale to reduce debt and expand its nine stores to 12 by 2005. Cabela's sales have grown 16 percent annually over the past five years to $1.4 billion in fiscal 2003. The company had average sales of $43 million per store last year, the article reported.

Cabela's filing comes just over a month after its smaller rival Gander Mountain filed to raise $86.2 million by going public. Gander has 65 stores in nine states, but unlike Cabela's doesn't have a catalog business, the Pioneer Press reported.

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