Gander Mountain To Seek Bankruptcy Protection, Sources Say
St. Paul-based outdoor retail chain Gander Mountain Co. could begin bankruptcy filings as early as this month, sources told Reuters.
The privately held company was on a rapid expansion phase over the past several years, adding or announcing over 55 new stores since 2012. Gander Mountain currently has more than 160 locations in 27 states — primarily in the eastern half of the U.S. — and plans to open additional locations, including one in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Gander Mountain has not provided a statement on the matter, nor disclosed how seeking bankruptcy protection could affect its current or future locations.
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.
To raise funds at the time, the company sold its catalogue business to Cabela’s. That same year, Gander Mountain purchased watersports business Overton’s, which the retailer attempted to sell last year. Gander Mountain’s attempts to bring in capital through an Overton’s acquisition were fruitless as the company was unable to reach agreeable terms with any buyers.
The company currently has a $30 million loan and revolving credit lines totaling $575 million, Reuters said. It is unclear how much the credit lines have been drawn down on to date.
In recent years, competition has grown fierce within the outdoor retail segment. While big name companies like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop have opted to merge, others have filed for bankruptcy, including Eastern Outfitters around the start of February.
Financial advisory firm Lighthouse Management Group and Minneapolis-based law firm Fredrikson & Byron are said to be assisting Gander Mountain in its reported bankruptcy preparation.