Chuck E. Cheese Parent Goes Public Again

Posted On: 4/9/2019

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IRVING, TX -- Chuck E. Cheese parent CEC Entertainment Inc. said that after a merger with publicly traded Leo Holdings, it will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CEC. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.
 
CEC said it would combine with Leo Holdings Corp., an acquisition-company backed by London-based private-equity firm Lion Capital. Leo Holdings plans to change its name to Chuck E. Cheese Brands, of which CEC Entertainment will be a subsidiary.
 
Leo will be renamed Chuck E. Cheese Brands Inc. CEC's executive team, including chief executive Tom Leverton, will continue to lead the company from its current headquarters in Irving, TX.
 
Private-equity firm Apollo Global Management bought Chuck E. Cheese's parent in 2014 for about $948 million, taking it private. Apollo will be the company's largest shareholder, with a 51% stake in the newly formed company. Lyndon Lea, a founding partner of Lion Capital, and Andrew Jhawar, a senior partner with Apollo, will be co-chairman of Chuck E. Cheese's board.
 
Since Apollo acquired the company, CEC has replaced tokens with the PlayPass card, remodeled stores, and rolled out its All You Can Play option that lets kids enjoy unlimited games for a set amount of time. The FEC chain has also focused on revamping its menu to better appeal to parents.
 
CEC said it anticipates an initial valuation of $1.4 billion. The company reported revenue of $896 million in its 2018 fiscal year.
 
CEC Entertainment, founded in 1977 by Atari cofounder Nolan Bushnell, has 750 venues across the Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza brands. More than half its revenue comes from entertainment and merchandise, with the remaining 45% coming from food and beverage.