New Company Will Combine WWE and UFC
Posted on 04/15/2023
Endeavor Group Holdings and World Wrestling Entertainment have announced a signed definitive agreement to form a publicly traded company combining UFC and WWE. Endeavor will hold a 51% interest in the company and WWE will own the remaining 49%. The companies earned US$ 2.4 billion in 2022.
Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, called it a “rare opportunity.” Emanuel said: “For decades, Vince [McMahon, founder of WWE] 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.” McMahon agreed: “I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders.” Those shareholders include Teachers Retirement System of the State of Kentucky, with 225,724 shares. Interest is even greater in the U.K., where Border to Coast Pension Partnership, one of the largest partnerships to hoist the Union Jack, owns 564,021 shares.
McMahon suggested it will be a “Live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fan base of more than a billion people,” worth an estimated US$ 21 billion. Emanuel will take the reins of the new company, and he will remain CEO of Endeavor. Dana White will remain as President of UFC and Nick Khan will be President of WWE.
Singapore’s GIC Private Limited owns 7.27% of Endeavor, as does the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are financial advisors to Endeavor, and Latham & Watkins is serving as legal advisor. The Raine Group is acting as lead financial advisor to WWE. J.P. Morgan and Moelis & Company are acting as supporting financial advisors to WWE. Kirkland & Ellis is serving as legal advisor for WWE.