The company formerly known as WME-IMG will reportedly be the first of the major agencies to go public, with a initial public offering planned for late 2019
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WME parent Endeavor Group Holdings has formally begun its journey towards listing on the New York Stock Exchange
By Jon Chapple on 27 May 2019
Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc., the parent company of WME Entertainment, has formally declared its intention to go public, filing for an initial public offering (IPO), or stock market launch, with US regulators.
Hollywood-based Endeavor, whose other businesses include sports agency IMG and martial-arts promoter Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), on Friday (23 May) submitted its ‘form S-1’ to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), marking the start of its long-rumoured journey towards a public listing.
The number of shares to be offered, and the individual share price, have yet to be revealed, though the filing reveals the company plans to raise US$100 million with the flotation. However, $100m is typically used in US as a placeholder before revealing the final figure, and THR estimates the IPO could generate as much as $500m.
The SEC filing also gives an insight into Endeavor’s previously closely guarded financials, revealing that it generated US$3.6 billion in revenue last year, and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of over $550 million.
“Being a public company will further accelerate our ability to look around corners and open up new categories and opportunities for those in the Endeavor network”
The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol ‘EDR’.
When Endeavor goes public it will become the first of the ‘big four’ Hollywood agencies to do so, with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), United Talent Agency (UTA), International Creative Management (ICM Partners) and Paradigm all currently trading as private businesses.
In a letter bundled with the SEC filing, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel says, “as the entertainment industry moves towards a closed ecosystem model with less transparency”, going public will “further accelerate” the company’s “ability to look around corners and open up new categories and opportunities for those in the Endeavor network”.
In addition to WME, whose music roster includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Solange, Vince Staples and Macklemore, IMG and UFC, Endeavor’s business comprises production arm Endeavor Content, the Miss Universe pageant, comedy management company Dixon Talent and ad agency Droga5, among others.
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