Gander Mountain Co. addressed its bankruptcy rumors in a statement on Wednesday, saying it is prone to “economic cycles, changes in [the retail] industry and shifts in consumer demand that require us to adapt our business accordingly.”
 
However, the St. Paul-based outdoors retailer did not specifically mention bankruptcy or address the rumors in its statement. Citing sources close to the situation, Reuters news agency reported last week that Gander Mountain could begin bankruptcy filings as early as this month.
 
“As a privately held company, it is our long-standing policy not to comment on our business affairs,” executives at Gander Mountain said in its statement. “Unfortunately, recent speculative news articles have caused concern among some of our customers, employees and trade partners, and require us to make a rare exception.”
 
Houlihan Lokey, a global investment bank with an office in Minnesota, is acting as an independent advisor for the retailer. With the firm, Gander Mountain said it is taking a “best-practices approach to review our strategic options specific to positioning the company for long-term success.”
 
The 57-year-old retailer of sporting goods, hunting and outdoors equipment filed for bankruptcy once before in the early 1990s. After being a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ, Gander Mountain re-emerged in 1996 as a private business under the ownership of Holiday gas station owners David Pratt and the Erickson family.
 
The company currently has more than 160 locations in 27 states. According to Reuters, the reason for Gander Mountain’s financial troubles were related to a rapid expansion phase as it opened about 55 stores in the past several years, while struggling to grow customer interest.

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