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Residents blame hedge fund for downfall of Sidney, Nebraska

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Residents of Sidney, Nebraska, told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" the town has suffered drastically after Bass Pro Shops' acquisition of Cabela's. But they blame a hedge fund for the downfall.

Fox News reports Paul Singer's Elliott Management pushed for a sale after it disclosed an 11% stake in Cabela's. After the sale announcement, Elliott Management sold its shares, reportedly making at least $90 million.

“Cabela’s was the keystone employer in town. Everything, not everything, but most things revolved around that," Sidney Mayor Roger Galloway said.

Tim O’Connell, a local lumberyard owner, said Singer "destroyed" Sidney with the move. He said just one new home has been built in Sidney during the past two years.

Read more from Fox News.


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For 28 years I sold products to Cabela's, traveling often to Sidney, an old railroad town on U.S. Route 30--the "Lincoln Highway" that is one of our first transcontinental highways. Sidney is in the High Plains of Nebraska's panhandle, closer to Denver than to Omaha. In the 1980s Cabela's still operated from an old, nondescript building in downtown Sidney. As Cabela's grew during the 1990s in competition with Bass Pro, the company went public, built mega-stores and opened a beautiful new headquarters campus on I-80, where it could be seen for miles around in the wide open space of western Nebraska. From my perspective as a vendor, the move to a public company changed everything--and not for the better. The company grew from what was primarily a mail-order retailer to one with a brick-and-mortar presence in large cities. And as a publicly-held company, its focus became the stock price. It's a cautionary tale. Cabela's dominated the western Nebraska economy and by necessity attracted employees from all over. It's difficult to imagine another business taking over the empty buildings, re-employing the folks left jobless, and finding buyers for all the new homes that were built as Cabela's expanded.

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