Chuck E. Cheese's Snags a Buyer
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Chuck E. Cheese's has been fishing for potential buyers as it struggles with slumping sales. Today, Apollo Global Management bit, buying parent company CEC Entertainment for $1.3 billion, including the assumption of debt.
Apollo's offer of $54 per share represents a premium of 11.5 percent over Wednesday's closing price.
On Jan. 7, reports surfaced that Chuck E. Cheese's had been working with Goldman Sachs on potential sales options in the previous months. Stocks skyrocketed, closing on Jan. 8 at $49.58, the highest close since the company began trading on the NYSE in 1990.
"We are excited about this transaction with Apollo, as it recognizes the value of CEC's global brand, strong cash flows and growth prospects while providing our shareholders with an immediate and substantial premium," Michael H. Magusiak, the chief executive of CEC, said in a statement.
Apollo's other investments include tween jewelry retailer, Claire's, whirlpool manufacturer Jacuzzi Brands and digital learning company McGraw-Hill Education. Apollo was founded in 1990 by billionaire Leon Black.
Chuck E. Cheese's has been in need of a turnaround. The company saw same-store sales fall 2.1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter and posted a 3.6 percent drop in food and beverage sales. Total revenues for the quarter fell 0.4 percent to 195.6 million from 196.6 million a year earlier.
Chuck E. Cheese's isn't the first restaurant chain to be bought up in recent months, nor will it be the last. In December, Darden Restaurants announced it will either sell or spin off Red Lobster. In November, Roark Capital Croup, the parent company of chains such as Arby's, Auntie Anne's and Cinnabon, acquired CEK Inc., the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. Ruby Tuesday and Dave & Busters are likely the next targets for sale, with rumors the two chains are on the block.
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