In a deal said to be worth nearly $700m, WME parent Endeavor has acquired a majority stake in corporate hospitality company On Location Experiences
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It's second time lucky for WME's parent company, Endeavor Group, which hopes to raise around $1.8bn by going public
By Jon Chapple on 30 Apr 2021
Endeavor Group Holdings, the parent company of international booking agency WME, is finally a listed company after shares began trading on New York’s Nasdaq stock market yesterday (29 April).
Endeavor’s or stock market launch, or ‘initial public offering’ (IPO), sees nearly 25 million shares of the company’s class-A stock offered to the market at US$24 per share, and is expected to close on Monday 3 May.
At the close of market yesterday, Endeavor (EDR) shares were priced at $25.20 – up $1.20 on the IPO price, but down from a daily high of $28.47 – with a trade volume of nearly 16m shares for the day.
Endeavor expects to raise around $1.8bn from the share sale, which also includes a private placement of 74.5m shares being sold to an investment group that includes the likes of Silver Lake Partners, Tencent, Dragoneer Investment Group, MSD Capital and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company.
Endeavor plans to use $835.7m of the proceeds to buy the remainder of UFC
Silver Lake, which also owns shares in Oak View Group and MSG Entertainment and a majority stake in TEG, is an existing Endeavor investor, while Tencent has partnered with WME on joint ventures in China. Dragoneer, meanwhile, recently bought into one-to-watch videogaming platform Roblox.
Endeavor says it plans to use $835.7m to buy the remainder of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), in which it acquired a majority stake in 2016, with other new funding put towards future joint ventures, investments and acquisitions.
The Nasdaq listing is Endeavor’s second attempt to take the company public, following an aborted flotation in 2019 amid unfavourable market conditions. Yesterday’s successful IPO came despite a 24% drop in revenues, to $3.5bn, in 2020 owing to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to WME and UFC, Endeavor’s portfolio includes sports agency IMG, comedy agency Dixon Talent and the Miss Universe pageant.
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