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Dave & Buster’s is on track to acquire Main Event Entertainment for $835 million.

by Susan and Simon Veness

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. has entered into an agreement that will lead to the acquisition of Main Event Entertainment for $835 million, with a projected closing of late 2022.

dave & busters main event bowling
Photos courtesy of Main Event Entertainment

Main Event announced today, April 6, 2022, that Ardent Leisure Group Limited and RedBird Captial Partners private investment firm are the entities that have entered into the acquisition agreement with Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc.

Main Event currently has 50 locations nationwide, offering entertainment such as state-of-the-art bowling, laser tag, hundreds of arcade games, and virtual reality, all geared toward family fun.

main event entertainment center

“We are thrilled to join the Dave & Buster’s family,” said Chris Morris, Main Event’s chief executive officer. “We will undoubtedly benefit from the collective expertise and strong culture of both brands, particularly as we continue to accelerate Main Event’s aggressive expansion plans.”

Upon closing the deal, Morris will be the combined entity’s’ CEO, and Kevin Sheehan, Dave & Buster’s restaurant and entertainment center chair and interim chief executive officer, will return to his role as Board Chair.

Ardent Leisure shareholders must approve the move, and an extending waiting period must elapse, under the HSR Act. Additional standard conditions that could disrupt the expected acquisition also apply.

Dr. Gary Weiss, chairman of Ardent Leisure, said, “Ardent Leisure has partnered with the Main Event brand since 2006 as the company has grown from its Dallas foundations to 50 locations nationwide today. We are particularly proud of our significant involvement in the rejuvenation of Main Event over the last four years, and this transaction reflects the culmination of significant value creation that has been achieved by Arden Leisure and the Main Event management team over this time.”

dave & buster's main event dining

Once the acquisition takes place, the combined entities will reach uniquely different demographics, enhancing the breadth of offerings and experiences to each brands’ guests.

Main Event will continue to operate as a distinct brand, serving families of all ages.

“Main Event is a perfect compliment to Dave & Busters,” Morris added, “and I feel very honored to lead the growth of both brands.”

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