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What: Shares of CEC Entertainment, Inc. (UNKNOWN:CEC.DL) jumped 12% today after an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE:APO) agreed to acquire the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant operator for about $950 million.
So what: The all-cash deal values CEC at $54 per share and represents a premium of 12% to its closing price on Wednesday. CEC management had been looking into its strategic options amid sluggish sales growth lately, so today's news naturally removes a big cloud of uncertainty over the stock.
Now what: While CEC has until Jan. 29 to seek out superior bids, both sides seem confident that the deal will go through. "This transaction with CEC gives us the opportunity to partner with the proven leader in family dining and entertainment," said Scott Ross, Partner at Apollo Global Management. "Across the U.S., and increasingly around the world, the Chuck E. Cheese's brand represents quality, safe and fun family entertainment." So although CEC's upside is likely limited at this point, Apollo's newly bolstered portfolio with be worth checking out.
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