WWE sold for $9.3bn: who are new owners Endeavour Group and do they own UFC?
WWE and UFC set to merge into company worth over $21 billion
and live on Freeview channel 276
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) have agreed to merge and form a new publicly-listed company which is set to be controlled by Endeavor Group - the company who already own UFC. Endeavor will hold a 51% stake in the combined company while WWE shareholders will hold 49%, according to the new agreement and the deal values the new company at more than $21.4 billion (£17.3 billion) with UFC valued at $12.1 billion and WWE at $9.3 billion.
The new deal will also see the former WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon return to his role, having previously retired from the posotion in July following allegations he had paid several women millions of dollars in ‘hush money’ regarding alleged sexual misconduct. McMahon returned to his former role in January to help oversee the sale of the company.
McMahon helped transform WWE into the global phenomenon it is today after buying it from his father in 1982. However, this deal is now set to bring an end to the company’s status as family-run.
77-year-old McMahon will be joined in the new company by Dana White (UFC president) and Nick Khan who will stay on as president of the wrestling business and chief operating officer. The name of the company has not yet been announced and the board will consist of 11 people - six appointed by Endeavor and five appointed by WWE.
The agreement will see two of the largest sport entertainment brands in the world join and here is all you need to know about the new owners of WWE and what has been said...
Who are Endeavor?
Based in Beverly Hills, California, Endeavor Group Holdings is an American holding company for talent and media agencies. It was first founded in April 2009 with Ariel Emanuel sitting as the company’s CEO and Mark Shapiro the company’s president.
As of 3 April 2023, Stock Analysis estimated the EDR has a market cap or net worth of just under $7 billion (£5.6 billion). Along with UFC, the company also own Zuffa, IMG, Endeavor Streaming, Women of Faith and the Miss Universe Organization.
What has been said?
The CEO of Endeavor, Ariel Emanuel, has said: “This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed. For decades Vince (WWE executive chairman) 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, the executive chairman of WWE, has added: “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.
“Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collectie fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity. 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.”