Endeavor, the UFC ownership group, acquires WWE and intends to merge the promotions to form a publicly traded enterprise

Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, has purchased the controlling interest in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), in a deal that sees Endeavor take 51% control over WWE, while the remaining 49% will be held by current stockholders. Following the acquisition, Endeavor plans to create a new publicly traded company merging WWE and UFC.

Ari Emanuel, the current CEO of Endeavor, will act as the executive chairman over the company that will combine both WWE and UFC. Mark Shapiro will serve as the president and chief operating officer of the new company as well as Endeavor. Under the new ownership umbrella, Dana White will continue to serve as the president of UFC and Nick Khan will maintain his position as the head of WWE.

Emanuel issued a statement on the new venture, citing the rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay, stating, “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.”

The purchase of WWE is the latest in a series of major investments by Endeavor, including the acquisition of UFC in 2016 for over $4 billion. The evaluation placed on UFC as part of the WWE acquisition is over $12 billion.

A partnership with Endeavor follows a year of WWE being shopped around, despite significant growth in revenue including $1.29 billion in 2022. Recently, the pro wrestling outfit has battled numerous controversies, including allegations of misconduct involving the former owner, McMahon, who paid out $14.6 million in hush money to women concerning their claims of sexual misconduct beginning in 2006.

Despite the fallout, WWE’s stock prices have increased over 33% in 2023, giving the company a market value of just under $7 billion. McMahon will continue with WWE under Endeavor’s ownership and will report directly to Emanuel. The acquisition presents opportunities of future revenue growth, including a potential new media and broadcast rights deal in the coming years.


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