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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Chuck E. Cheese, the restaurant chain where kids eat pizza with their bare hands after swimming around in a plastic ball pit, is going public via a reverse merger with Leo Holdings (NYSE: LHC), a blank check acquisition company formed by private equity firm Lion Capital.

Why it matters: This would be the first restaurant company to enter the U.S. public markets in four years. Or, in this case, re-enter.

  • Backstory: Apollo Global Management paid $1.3 billion to take Chuck E. Cheese private in 2014 (including debt) and will hold a 51% stake in the newly formed company. Apollo held sale talks in early 2017, but no deal materialized.
  • Bottom line: "Its average customer is between 3 and 8 years old. That means around 20% of your customer base ages out every year and a new group ages in, so it remains quite fresh for new customers, even though it's been around for 42 years." — Lyndon Lea, co-founder of Lion Capital, speaking to Axios.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.