UFC parent firm Endeavor Group acquires WWE for massive $9.3 billion

While Endeavour now owns a 51% majority stake in the wrestling business, the remaining 49% will be made up of current stockholders.

Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, the parent company of the popular Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) acquires a majority stake in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

After the successful acquisition of the UFC in 2016 for $4 billion, Endeavour has added WWE to its list of recent sporting entertainment acquisitions.

Post acquiring the MMA organisation, Endeavour boosted the value of UFC to up to $12.1 billion and with the worth of WWE at $9.3 billion, resulting in what the company calls a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment juggernaut.

When longtime owner and Chairman, Vince McMahon returned to his role after taking a break owing to several allegations of wrongdoing, the sale of WWE was hastened last January. Since 1982, McMahon has led WWE as its owner, succeeding his father.

While Endeavour now owns a 51% majority stake in the wrestling business, the remaining 49% will be made up of current stockholders.

As CEO of Endeavour, Ari Emanuel will now lead the revamped WWE, with McMahon serving as Executive Chairman alongside Mark Shapiro. Both Dana White and Nick Khan will now hold the positions of president of the WWE and the UFC, respectively.

McMahon, Executive Chairman of WWE, said, “Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders. Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity.

“The new company will be well positioned to maximise the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands. I, along with the current WWE management team, look forward to working closely with Ari and the Endeavor and UFC teams to take the businesses to the next level.”

WWE’s takeover comes soon after the industry’s biggest event of the year, WrestleMania, which was held over a two-day event at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles last weekend. According to WWE COO Triple H, the event broke a gate record with “far over $21m.”

WWE and Endeavour will now operate under the same canopy as UFC and strive to become the centre of sports entertainment, with the firm estimating that both businesses will generate $50m to $100m in annual run rate expenditures.

Additionally, Endeavour anticipates considerable development in a variety of revenue streams, including global media rights, ticket sales, event management, sponsorship, licencing, and more.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sport and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” added Emanuel.

“For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”

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