Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel describes the new “juggernaut,” worth over $21 billion, as a unique opportunity to unite two top sports and entertainment companies.
On Monday, Endeavor Group Holdings and sports entertainment giant WWE announced a confirmed deal to establish a publicly traded company that incorporates two “complementary and iconic” global sports and entertainment brands, namely UFC and WWE.
Endeavor will have a 51% controlling stake in the newly formed company, while existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% stake.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will lead the new company, serving as CEO while maintaining his current role in the remaining Endeavor business, which encompasses WME and IMG.
The newly formed firm’s executive chairman Vince McMahon will be WWE’s majority shareholder and executive chairman.
Mark Shapiro will hold the president and chief operating officer positions for both Endeavor and the new company. Dana White will remain as president of UFC, while WWE CEO Nick Khan will hold the same title as White, but at WWE.
Later, the board of directors for the new firm will be established with 11 members, six of whom will be designated by Endeavor and five by WWE.
Endeavor anticipates considerable revenue growth in various areas, with a particular focus on renewing domestic and international media rights for UFC and WWE.
As streaming platforms show increased interest in sports rights, Endeavor plans to negotiate lucrative media rights deals for both companies. In addition, Endeavor aims to produce more content, host more live events, and explore direct-to-consumer options to boost revenue.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel expressed confidence in unlocking further growth and profitability by merging UFC and WWE. Meanwhile, WWE majority shareholder Vince McMahon sees the merger as the best outcome for shareholders, creating a live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a billion-plus fan base.
The UFC-WWE deal values UFC at $12.1 billion and WWE at $9.3 billion, bringing the total enterprise value to over $21 billion. WWE shareholders will receive approximately $106 per share before dividends.
The new company will have around $150 million in cash from contributions by UFC and WWE, with the remaining cash on their balance sheets distributed to Endeavor and WWE shareholders.