Chuck E. Cheese Parent Company Cancels Deal to Bring Irving Chain Public

A merger that would’ve seen the parent company of Irving-based Chuck E. Cheese return to the New York Stock Exchange is dead. In April, Queso Holdings Inc. and Leo Holdings Corp. said they would merge and trade under the ticker CEC. Reasoning for the termination was not disclosed.Queso owns CEC Entertainment, parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza. Leo Holdings is a blank check company, one that lacks assets but has a merger-based business plan.The public company would’ve been worth $1.4 billion, the companies said after announcing the deal. CEC Entertainment planned to use money from the deal to pay down its debt, which stood at just under $979 million last year.Leo Holdings planned to change its name to Chuck E. Cheese Brands Inc. following the deal’s expected close in the second quarter of 2019.The merger seemed on track as late as this month, when CEC Entertainment released an investor presentation on the merger. The transaction was set to include $200 million cash, $114 million private investment in public equity and $360 million in equity rolled over by existing shareholders. The chain's same-store sales rose 0.4% in the second quarter, down from a 1% gain in the same period last year. Sales rose 7.7% in the first three months of 2019. CEC Entertainment reported over $896 million in revenue in 2018. Chuck E. Cheese counts 609 locations in 47 states and 14 foreign countries. Peter Piper Pizza restaurants has 141 locations.  Continue reading...

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