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Bowling firm Ten Entertainment set for £287m takeover by US firm

Bowling centre operator Ten Entertainment has agreed a £287 million takeover by US private equity firm Trive Capital.

The ten-pin bowling firm, which runs 52 sites across the UK, told shareholders on Wednesday its board is recommending the deal which will see the US fund buy the business for 412.5p per share in cash.

Dallas-based Trive has set up a new company, called Neon Buyer, to make the acquisition.

Ten Entertainment, which employs 1,800 people, said it has had assurances from the suitor “to continue growing the business both domestically and internationally”.

Pink bowling lane and blue walls
Ten Entertainment runs 52 sites across the UK (Ten Entertainment/PA)

The Bedford-based leisure firm floated on the London Stock Exchange at a price of 165p per share in 2017.

Adam Bellamy, the chairman of Ten Entertainment, said: “I am confident that the growth strategy we have in place for the business will continue to deliver for all our stakeholders.

“However, whilst TEG (Ten Entertainment Group) has performed well in the public markets in comparison with its peers, the acquisition provides all TEG shareholders with the opportunity and certainty of an exit which I believe recognises the underlying value in our business.

“The price offered by Neon Buyer represents an attractive premium to TEG’s prevailing share price and accordingly the TEG directors have no hesitation in recommending the offer to our shareholders.”

Trive partner Shravan Thadani said: “Trive believes that private ownership will enable TEG to achieve its long-term growth potential through continued investment in organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions.

“To that end, and given our experience in the consumer and multi-unit retail sectors, we are excited to provide the operational resources, strategic support and capital required to enhance TEG’s next phase of growth.”

It is the latest US takeover of a UK firm, following recent deals such as Mars’ deal to buy Hotel Chocolat for £534 million and private equity firm Apollo’s takeover of Wagamama-owner The Restaurant Group for £701 million.