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WME parent forms new $21bn global entertainment firm

Endeavor's new publicly listed company will consist of two iconic sports and entertainment brands: UFC and WWE

By Lisa Henderson on 04 Apr 2023

Ariel Emanuel, Endeavor

Ariel Emanuel, Endeavor

WME’s parent company Endeavor is launching a new publicly listed company that consists of two iconic sports and entertainment brands: UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion) and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

Upon completion of the deal, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company (yet to be named) and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest in it.

Endeavor says that together, UFC and WWE will have “global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution”.

On a combined 2022 fiscal year-end basis, UFC and WWE achieved revenue of $2.4 billion and a 10% annual revenue growth rate since 2019.

The transaction values UFC at an enterprise value of $12.1 billion and WWE at an enterprise value of $9.3 billion.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” says Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “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.”

“I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders”

Vincent K. McMahon, executive chairman of WWE, adds: “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 monetisation, 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.”

The new company will be led by Emanuel, who will also continue in his role as CEO of Endeavor, McMahon (executive chairman of the board) and Mark Shapiro, who will be president and COO of both Endeavor and the new company.

Dana White will continue in his role as president of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as president of WWE. The board of directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five of whom by WWE.

Alongside the newly formed company, Endeavor owns entertainment agency WME and sports, fashion, events and media company IMG.


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