Apollo Global to buy Chuck E Cheese parent for about $1 bln - FT

Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:39am EST

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Apollo Global Management LLC will buy CEC Entertainment Inc, the parent of Chuck E Cheese restaurant chain, for about $1 billion, the Financial Times reported.

The fund controlled by billionaire Leon Black will pay $54 per share for CEC, the newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. (link.reuters.com/vuw95v)

The deal, which will be announced on Thursday morning, is an 11.5 percent premium to CEC's Wednesday close of $48.43.

Last week, Reuters exclusively reported that CEC was working with Goldman Sachs Inc and was speaking with interested buyers over the last several months.

Apollo is among a number of private equity firms to have expressed interest in the group, the Financial Times said, and is using Deutsche Bank to lead the financing for its bid.

CEC and its franchises operate 567 entertainment-focused Chuck E Cheese stores in 47 states, the majority of which are owned and operated by the company. The company's Chuck E Cheese stores have musical and robotic entertainment, games, rides, play areas and food like pizza and sandwiches.

Apollo and CEC could not be immediately reached for comment, outside of regular U.S. business hours. (Reporting by Chris Peters and Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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