Less than 24 hours after the final bell of Wrestlemania 39, World Wrestling Entertainment is undergoing new ownership, with Endeavor Group Holdings confirming that they will acquire the promotion and merge with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
In a statement, Endeavor announced a “definitive agreement” that will see WWE come under the company’s ownership in an estimated $9.3 billion deal.
The deal will see Endeavor from a new publicly listed company, consisting of both WWE and UFC.
Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest in the new company.
Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, said that the deal presents a rare opportunity in the entertainment industry.
This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed. 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.”
Vince McMahon, Executive Chairman of WWE, added that this is unquestionably the best outcome for investors, and added:
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.”
The new PLC will be led by Emanuel (as CEO) with McMahon as Executive Chairman of the Board.
Dana White will continue as President of UFC, while Nick Khan will serve as President of WWE.
Mark Shapiro will serve as President and Chief Operating Office of both Endeavor and the new company.
The Board of Directors will consist of 11 members, of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five of whom by WWE.
These board members will be appointed at a later date.
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
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2023
$EDR has won the battle royal for $WWE, merging @WWE with @ufc in a $21 billion deal. @VinceMcMahon and @Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel discuss with @ScottWapnerCNBC.
McMahon: It’s the right time to do the right thing.
Emanuel: We have unbelievably attractive economics. pic.twitter.com/t73lUcVEM7
— Squawk on the Street (@SquawkStreet) April 3, 2023
(H/T Thomas Lowson)
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