The parent company of the Chuck. E. Cheese restaurant chain has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management for about $950 million.
Founded in 1977, Chuck E. Cheese restaurants are known for their mix of games, play areas and robotic characters that provide musical entertainment. The chain has been struggling to lift sales, even after a makeover for its rodent mascot in 2012 that was intended to refresh its outdated image.
Enter Leon Black’s investment firm Apollo, which buys troubled companies using borrowed money and tries to sell them for more, usually years later, in a transaction known as a leveraged buyout.
Apollo is Harris’ company. Last year, they saved Twinkies when they bought Hostess. Apollo and its weird thicket of subsidiaries also own Harrah’s Entertainment, 19 Entertainment (producers of American Idol), Sharp Entertainment (Man vs. Food), Norwegian Cruise Lines, McGraw-Hill Education, among many, many other companies. And now, Chuck E. Cheese. Joshua Harris is so, so much richer than you.
I’m convinced these animals touch children.