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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

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.