UFC owners announce "definitive agreement"on $21+ billion deal to purchase WWE
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Endeavor - the owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship - has announced they have signed a 'definitive agreement' to acquire the controlling interest in the WWE.
In a statement posted to their official website in the early hours of Monday morning, Endeavor stated that they have formed a 'new, publicly listed company' which consists of both the UFC and the WWE.
It reads: 'Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) 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.'
The deal will see Vince McMahon hand over ownership of the WWE, a company which he has owned since 1982.
Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, spoke highly of the work done by McMahon and his team, before talking of the 'significant additional value' that shareholders will earn as a result of pairing the two organisations together.
“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,” he said.
McMahon will remain involved with the company, with the 77-year-old set to continue his work as the Executive Chairman of the Board.
McMahon sung the praises of Emanuel's work with the UFC, stating that the agreed deal is "without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and stakeholders":
“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.”
The statement goes on to discuss the financial valuations of both companies, with the UFC listed at an enterprise value of $12.1 billion and the WWE at $9.3 billion.
It adds that Endeavor's transaction to purchase the WWE is expected to close in the second half of 2023 following the successful conclusion of WWE's strategic alternative review process.
The deal has sparked excitement among athletes and fans alike, with Conor McGregor taking to Twitter to hype up the deal.