UFC and WWE merger is set to take place under the new name TKO Group Holdings, and plans have been put in place to take the company public on the stock exchange before the close of 2023. The announcement was made by Endeavor on Tuesday via CNBC. The merged company’s symbol on the NYSE will be TKO. The estimated worth of the new company is more than $21 billion.
Endeavor, which owns the UFC, initially revealed their intention to merge the two companies in April, with the acquisition of a majority share in World Wrestling Entertainment. Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, will serve as CEO for TKO Group Holdings with Vince McMahon, WWE’s controlling shareholder, serving as an executive chairman. Endeavor will hold a 51% stake in the new company, while WWE shareholders will control the remaining 49%.
Despite the formation of TKO Group Holdings, Dana White will remain president of the UFC while Nick Khan retains the presidency of WWE. It is not anticipated that this merger will have any impact on UFC or WWE’s business dealings; rather, it will allow them to combine forces in terms of promotion, advertising, and sponsorships.
Furthermore, TKO Group Holdings is set to receive substantial broadcast rights deals for both the UFC and WWE, which could lead to even greater valuations. Endeavor’s first-quarter results stated that the merger deal between UFC and WWE should be finalised by the second half of 2023, provided all regulatory hurdles are cleared. Endeavor will then complete a full spinoff of TKO Group Holdings, with the intention to take the company public.
“This is a unique chance to create a global live sports and entertainment pure-play that is focused on the direction in which the industry is moving,” said Ari Emanuel in April. “For decades, Vince and his team have displayed exceptional innovation and shareholder value creation, and we trust that Endeavor can deliver considerable additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”