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Camping World wins bid for Gander Mountain, plans to liquidate inventory

May 1, 2017 GMT

A national recreational vehicle company plans to take over a troubled outdoor-gear retailer after offering the winning bid at a bankruptcy auction.

Illinois-based Camping World will take over certain assets of Gander Mountain of Minnesota and its Overton’s boating business if a bankruptcy court on Wednesday approves the deal, according to a statement from Camping World Monday. The deal is said to be valued at $390 million to $400 million.

Camping World, which has an RV business on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston just up the street from the Gander Mountain store across from Northwoods Mall, hopes to sell off the inventory of the outdoor-gear retailer but it has not announced which stores will remain open.

“The liquidation of the existing Gander Mountain inventory will allow us to start with a clean slate of what we consider the appropriate mix and level of inventory, including the addition of Camping World and Overton offerings where appropriate,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping world in a statement. “Our lease designation rights will allow us to select only those stores in appropriate locations with appropriate cost structures.”

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He went on to say,” The structure of our deal provides much flexibility and will not only allow us to refine the inventory selection and select only those stores which are profitable or we believe have a clear path to profitability, but will also allow us to immediately offer our comprehensive portfolio of services, protection plans, products and resources to the existing Gander Mountain and Overton customer base and in stores which we elect to operate.”

Under terms of the deal, Camping World must assume a minimum of 17 leases, but it plans to operate at a number that will “maximize profitability.”

Gander Mountain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Camping World’s winning bid included the purchase of Overton’s inventory, valued at $15.6 million plus $22.15 million for certain other assets.

In March, Gander Mountain announced it would close 32 of its 162 stores as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. None were in South Carolina. The company operates another store in the Palmetto State in Myrtle Beach.