July 6, 2022



Dave & Buster’s buys Main Event for $835 million in cash

2 min read

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. announced this week it’s purchasing competitor Main Event for $835 million.

First reported by The Dallas Morning News’ Paul O’Donnell, the all-cash deal will bring the two Texas-based food and entertainment giants under the same corporate umbrella. Following a pandemic-induced 2020 downturn that led  Dave & Buster’s to ponder bankruptcy,  the Dallas-based company reported revenue gains of 200 percent in 2021.

“Our brand is back and we are stronger than ever,” said Dave & Buster’s CEO Brian Jenkins in September of 2021. 

Main Event, a Coppell, Texas-based company that specializes in youth entertainment, birthday fun and laser tag, will remain a distinct brand following the deal. The pairing will allow Dave & Buster’s to expand into a previously untapped market and further hone its existing adult offerings, according to Kevin Sheehan, the company’s chairman.

“Main Event targets a different demographic, families with younger children, while Dave & Buster’s has primarily targeted young adults,” Sheehan said in a statement, per O’Donnell. “While each brand will continue to operate independently, ownership of both brands enables us to expand the breadth of customers we serve together, while also enabling each brand to better differentiate its offering to its core consumer.”

Main Event currently boasts approximately 50 locations in the U.S., four of which are currently operating in the Greater Houston area. The Bayou City has two remaining Dave & Buster’s in operation, one off the Katy Freeway near 610 and another off I-45 in League City. Prior to the pandemic, a third Dave & Buster’s operated on Richmond near the Galleria. This venue was among the 142 locations shut down by the company in response to the pandemic’s rise. In January, the abandoned Galleria Dave & Buster’s was converted into a giant COVID-19 testing center.

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The company projects $20 million in cost savings over two years from its acquisition of Main Event, much of it from streamlining supply chain avenues. “This is a transformational combination for both brands,” Sheehan said. “Main Event’s existing footprint works well with Dave & Buster’s current geographies and each brand has significant growth opportunities.”

Dave & Buster’s stock dropped more than eight percent from market’s open by midday Wednesday following news of the acquisition. Shares were trading at $42.73 as of this writing.

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