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Report: Chuck E. Cheese’s parent in IPO talks

CEC Entertainment could file in last half of year, sources tell Reuters

According to a Reuters report, CEC Entertainment Inc., parent to the Chuck E. Cheese’s and Peter Piper Pizza child-oriented chains, is in talks for an initial public offering in the last half of this year. 

Irving, Texas-based CEC, which was taken private in 2014 through a $1.3 billion deal with Apollo Global Management LLC, has talked with banks but not yet hired underwriters, Reuters reported Tuesday. Sources said the IPO could value the company at more than $1 billion.

A CEC Entertainment spokeswoman said Wednesday that she had nothing to add to the reports.

Ron Ruggless

Chuck E. Cheese’s has been expanding its menu items geared toward adults and increased value offerings in order to build frequency, said Thomas Leverton, CEC CEO, in an interview last June. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on mom and dad and that veto [vote],” Leverton said. “Your average kid who comes to Chuck E. wants to come 11 times a year; they come three times a year. The difference between that and the 11 times a year they want to come is the mom and dad veto.” 

Chuck E. Cheese’s is also modernizing by phasing out game tokens for computer-chip tap-to-play cards at its popular arcade-style games. 

CEC Entertainment owns the similar entertainment and dining brand Peter Piper Pizza, the 147-unit company it acquired in October 2014 from ACON Investments LLC.

In Securities and Exchange Commission filings for the third quarter ended Oct. 2, CEC Entertainment reported revenues or $223.7 million, up from $217 million in the prior-year quarter. The company narrowed its net loss to $2.4 million from $3.2 million in the same quarter last year.

As of Oct. 2, CEC had 742 units, 557 company-owned and the remaining 185 franchised, in 47 states and 12 other countries and territories.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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