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Chuck E. Cheese Selling for Big Slice of Cash

This mouse is worth nearly $1 billion.

The parent company of the kid-friendly Chuck. E. Cheese restaurant chain has agreed to be acquired by an Apollo Global Management affiliate for about $950 million.

The restaurants with the giant, grinning mouse, are known for their games, rides and play areas for children. Robotic characters including the Chuck E. Cheese mouse and others provide musical entertainment. The restaurants offer a variety of food, such as pizza, sandwiches, appetizers, a salad bar and desserts.

Investment firm Apollo will pay $54 per share for CEC Entertainment Inc. That's a 12-percent premium to the company's Wednesday closing price of $48.43. The companies put the deal's value at about $1.3 billion, including debt.

Founded by Leon Black in 1990, Apollo buys troubled companies using borrowed money and tries to sell them for more, usually years later, in a transaction known as a leveraged buyout.