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Gander Mountain responds to bankruptcy rumors

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Outdoor goods retailer Gander Mountain has fired back at reports that the company is headed for bankruptcy.

It didn't say it was, but it also didn't say it wasn't.

"As a privately held company, it is our long-standing policy not to comment on our business affairs," executives at the St. Paul-based outdoors retailer said in a statement reported by its hometown Star Tribune newspaper.

"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," the statement continued.

A Feb. 10 report by the Reuters news service cited unnamed sources close to the situation who said Gander Mountain is working with financial advisory firm Lighthouse Management Group Inc. and law firm Fredrikson & Byron PA as it gets ready to file for bankruptcy, possibly as early as this month.

The Star Tribune reported that the retailer has hired Minneapolis-based global investment banking firm Houlihan Lokey, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions, as an adviser. 

Gander Mountain's statement cited "economic cycles, changes in our industry and shifts in consumer demand that require us to adapt our business accordingly," but made no mention of bankruptcy.

The company, which traces its roots to a small-town catalogue retailer founded in 1960, operates 162 specialty stores across 26 states.

According to its website, there are 12 stores in Pennsylvania, although only two are in the midstate, in the York and Chambersburg areas.

Gander Mountain's former store on Jonestown Road in Dauphin County closed in 2016, and the location was later converted into a Giant Food Stores supermarket.

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rogerd@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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