Irving, Texas-based CEC Entertainment. Inc. (NYSE:CEC), which owns Chuck E. Cheese, has sold the family and children's entertainment franchise to a private equity firm, Apollo, and the sale will be announced Thursday, the Financial Times reported.

The acquisition price of $54 a share values the franchise at nearly $1 billion and is at an 11.5 percent premium to the company's closing stock price of $48.43 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, according to the Financial Times.

Last Tuesday, Reuters reported that CEC had hired Goldman Sachs to explore options for a potential sale and has been in talks with suitors for many months. And, on Wednesday, the stock price spiked more than 14 percent to close at $49.58. This closing price is the highest since the company began trading on the NYSE in 1990, according to Reuters.

CEC, which runs 567 Chuck E. Cheese stores in 47 states and nine foreign countries and territories according to its website, saw an annual fall of 2.1 percent in same-store sales in the third quarter and total revenues fell 0.4 percent to $195.9 million, Reuters reported.

Apollo, which is controlled by billionaire investor Leon Black, has hired Deutsche Bank to manage the acquisition, the Financial Times reported.