Welp, folks, it’s officially official: after CNBC reported that WWE was in deep talks with Ari Emmanuel’s Endeavor to acquire the world’s biggest wrestling company, the two groups have made their union official via a press release issued on the official Endeveaor website.
Endeavor and World Wrestling Entertainment today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to form a new, publicly listed company consisting of two iconic, complementary, global sports and entertainment brands: UFC and WWE. Upon close, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest in the new company.
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.
Now, for fans out of the know, UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, was actually purchased by Endeavor all the way back in 2016, with the company then gaining full control of the MMA brand’s rights in 2021. Though the exact value of the sale is a tad unclear, with Endeavor mentioning purchasing the stock at $106 per share, the company noted that WWE has a valuation of $9.3 billion, which could leave the final purchasing price at somewhere in the $4.7 billion range.
Asked for comment on the deal, Vince McMahon sounded incredibly excited to work with Ari Emanuel and the rest of the Endeavor team, as it will not only give his company more push but allow him to stay in a position of power moving forward.
“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,” McMahon wrote.
“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 maximize 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.”
Elsewhere in the official press release, Endeavor explained the new structure of the company, with previous WWE executives retaining much of their power, including Mr. McMahon retaining his title of Executive Chairman of the Board.
>The new company will be led by Emanuel (Chief Executive Officer), who will also continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, McMahon (Executive Chairman of the Board) and Mark Shapiro, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer 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.
How will things shake out? Frankly, it’s impossible to know, McMahon remains a top figure in this newly formed company, leaving some to speculate that he could become an even bigger part of WWE’s inner working moving forward, but for now, all we know are the facts: for the first time since the company became the World Wide Wrestling Federation back in the 1960s, someone other than a McMahon will be in charge of the endeavor. Buckle up, folks; the entire wrestling world will never be the same.
Today, @Endeavor announced it has signed an agreement to form a $21+ billion global live sports and entertainment company made up of @UFC and @WWE. https://t.co/lPrkBmKJXm pic.twitter.com/ZBk95c5exU
— Endeavor (@Endeavor) April 3, 2023
The post Endeavor officially acquires WWE to form ‘$21+ billion powerhouse’ with UFC appeared first on ClutchPoints.