Just as CNBC broke the news yesterday, Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Group is buying World Wrestling Entertainment and will combine it with the Ultimate Fighting Championship to form a new publicly listed business. The McMahon family has owned and operated WWE for many years, and the agreement values it at $9.3 billion, while the UFC, which is owned by Endeavor, is valued at $12.1 billion.
Both businesses anticipate the deal to be finalized by the end of 2023. When it happens, a combined sports and entertainment juggernaut with passionate, devoted consumers for each brand will be the end result. WWE’s greatest annual live event spectacular, WrestleMania, which took place over two nights at SoFi Stadium, recently came to a close. In all, 161,892 persons, according to the corporation, were present in the stadium. WWE’s biggest performers, including Snoop Dogg and Logan Paul, who somehow manage to put on flawless pro wrestling battles, were present at the occasion.
With wildly popular pay-per-view events, the unscripted UFC, which Endeavor fully acquired in 2021 after acquiring a controlling ownership stake previously, has also proven to be a smart investment. Conor McGregor rejoiced at the news on Sunday night after CNBC reported the impending contract.
WWE stockholders will control the remaining 49 percent of the new firm, giving Endeavor a 51 percent stake. Emanuel will continue to lead Endeavor as its CEO while simultaneously serving as its CEO for the new business. The executive chair will now be Vince McMahon. Dana White will continue to lead the UFC, while Nick Khan, the current CEO of the WWE, will lead the professional wrestling industry.
After quitting the company in July, McMahon returned to WWE in January. Several articles from The Wall Street Journal about payments connected to extramarital romances and allegations of sexual misconduct led to his unexpected resignation from the business that he transformed into a global cultural phenomenon. The inquiry was conducted by WWE, but McMahon, who is by far the company’s largest shareholder, came back determined to sell the firm that he acquired from his father in 1982. WWE has created superstars like Hulk Hogan, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena, and Roman Reigns in the decades since he gained control.
Because the company’s lucrative TV partnerships with Fox and Comcast are up for renewal in the not-too-distant future, WWE has actively sought a sale in recent months. The business negotiated a multiyear contract with Peacock in 2021—allegedly for $1 billion—that introduced WWE’s huge archive and monthly premium live events to the streaming service. Monday Night Raw and Smackdown continue to be among the highest-rated TV shows.
In a news statement, Emanuel added, “This is an unique chance to develop a global live sports and entertainment pureplay suited for where the industry is heading.”
Given the outstanding job that Ari and Endeavor have done to expand the UFC brand, nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years, and the tremendous success we’ve already had working with their team on a number of ventures, McMahon asserted that this was unquestionably the best result for our shareholders and other stakeholders.