June 4, 2014 / 10:20 PM / 4 years ago

Exclusive: Dave & Buster's heads towards IPO after sale talks fail - sources

(Reuters) - Dave & Buster’s Inc has revived plans for an initial public offering after negotiations on an outright sale of the restaurant and arcade chain failed to lead to a deal, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Dave & Buster’s initially tried to go public in 2012 but scrapped those plans due to market conditions. Reuters reported in December the company was working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Jefferies Group LLC to explore both an IPO and an outright sale at a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Talks in recent months between Dave & Buster’s owner, Oak Hill Capital Partners, and several interested parties, including a consortium of Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp OCX.TO and movie theater operator Cineplex Inc (CGX.TO), as well as Chuck E. Cheese’s owner Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N), did not result in any deal, the people said this week.

The sources asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential. Representatives of Dave & Busters, Oak Hill, Onex, Cineplex and Apollo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 1982, Dave & Buster’s is an owner and operator of 69 venues that offer entertainment for adults and families such as sports-oriented, video and simulation games. The venues also serve food and beverages.

Oak Hill acquired the Dallas-based company for $570 million in May 2010.

Dave & Buster’s is the latest in a string of restaurant chains that have been trying to sell themselves or go public as market valuations for the sector continue to rise.

Last month, Darden Restaurant Inc (DRI.N) agreed to sell its Red Lobster seafood chain to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital LLC for $2.1 billion.

Carlson Restaurants Inc also agreed to sell its casual dining chain TGI Fridays to private equity firms Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners in May for more than $800 million.

Recent public offerings from restaurant chains have included Zoe’s Kitchen Inc (ZOES.N), Potbelly Corp (PBPB.O) and Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc (FRSH.O).

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr

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