Chuck E. Cheese is searching for a big cheese.
CEC Entertainment Inc., which owns the kid-oriented restaurant chain, announced today that Michael Magusiak will retire from the company on June 2. CEC, which was purchased last month by the private-equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO:US), has begun an internal and external search for a replacement.
Chuck E. Cheese restaurants -- which have games and rides for children, along with pizza -- have struggled to maintain growth amid shaky consumer confidence and more competition from kids’ movies and home entertainment. The 577-location chain agreed to be acquired by Apollo in a deal valued at $1.3 billion.
Magusiak is leaving after almost 27 years at Chuck E. Cheese. The next CEO will be tasked with reinvigorating the business for Apollo, which also is considering further acquisitions. The New York-based private-equity firm is weighing a bid for another chain that mixes food and entertainment, Dave & Buster’s Inc., people familiar with the situation said earlier this month.
Sales at U.S. arcades and entertainment and food complexes gained 0.3 percent last year and are projected to rise 1.7 percent this year to $1.94 billion, according to research firm IBISWorld Inc. Chuck E. Cheese has the largest share of the market, with 43 percent, followed by Dave & Buster’s at 32 percent.
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