Chuck E. Cheese Parent Files for Bankruptcy
Friday, June 26th, 2020
CEC Entertainment, Inc. (“CEC” or the “Company”), a nationally recognized leader in family entertainment and dining, today announced that, in order to overcome the financial strain resulting from prolonged, COVID-19 related venue closures and position the Company for long-term success, CEC Entertainment and its domestic affiliates have filed for voluntary protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Company expects to use the time and legal protections made available through the Chapter 11 process to continue discussions with financial stakeholders, as well as critical conversations with its landlords, to achieve a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that supports its re-opening and longer-term strategic plans.
CEC franchised locations operate under separate legal and financial structures and are not included in the Chapter 11 filings.
As of June 24, 266 company-operated Chuck E Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurant and arcade venues had safely re-opened, in accordance with all CDC, federal, state and local guidelines. Subject to ongoing negotiations with its landlords, the Company expects to maintain ongoing operations in these locations throughout the Chapter 11 process, providing dine-in, delivery and carry-out services, hosting birthday parties during dedicated hours, and supporting fundraisers and events in the coming weeks and months. The Company also plans to continue opening additional locations each week, steadily bringing more employees back to work.
“The Chapter 11 process will allow us to strengthen our financial structure as we recover from what has undoubtedly been the most challenging event in our Company’s history and get back to the business of delivering memories, entertainment, and pizzas for another 40 years and beyond,” said David McKillips, CEC’s Chief Executive Officer. “I am incredibly proud of what the CEC team has achieved over the past year as we launched the All You Can Play value gaming platform, expanded our remodel program and found new ways to engage with families while our venues were closed. I’m confident in the strength of our team and our world-class brands and look forward to more fully implementing our strategic plan as we put these financial challenges behind us.”
The Company has filed customary motions with the Bankruptcy Court intended to allow CEC to maintain operations in the ordinary course including, but not limited to, paying employees and continuing existing benefits programs, honoring guest gift cards, and upholding commitments under its franchising and licensing agreements. The motions are typical in the Chapter 11 process and CEC anticipates that they will be heard and approved in the first few days of the Chapter 11 cases.