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Dave & Buster’s to acquire Dallas-based Main Event family entertainment chain

Main Event’s CEO Chris Morris will transition into the role of CEO of Dave & Buster’s

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. announced Wednesday an agreement to acquire Dallas-based family entertainment company and bowling chain, Main Event, for $835 million from Ardent Leisure Group Limited and RedBird Capital Partners. Upon closing of the deal, Main Event CEO Chris Morris will be named CEO of Dave & Buster’s after a seven-month search for the head of the company following Brian Jenkins’ retirement last year.

Main Event eatertainment company currently has 50 locations and is known for its bowling alleys, laser tag, and virtual reality games, as well as a sports bar-style menu.

"We are thrilled to join the Dave & Buster's family," Chris Morris, Main Event's CEO said in a statement. "We will undoubtedly benefit from the collective expertise and strong culture of both brands, particularly as we continue to accelerate Main Event's aggressive expansion plans."

The transaction, which is expected to close later this year, will allow Main Event to continue to operate as its own brand under the Dave & Buster’s umbrella.

Chris Morris has been in his role of president and CEO of Main Event since 2018, during which time he expanded the brand’s footprint by 30%. Before that, he was president of California Pizza Kitchen and has previously held executive leadership positions with On the Border and CEC Entertainment.

"As we have come to know Chris Morris, we have been very impressed by his execution capabilities and focus on profitable growth," Kevin Sheehan, Dave & Buster's board chair and interim CEO said in a statement. "Chris is a proven and successful transformational leader who is capable of taking the combined organization to the next level. It is clear Main Event has a strong culture that shares many values in common with our own. We very much look forward to joining these two great teams together."

Following the acquisition, Sheehan will return to his role as board chair.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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