What’s up, wrestling and fighting fans? Get ready for some groundbreaking news! Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, has acquired WWE in a deal that merges the two giants into a colossal $21.4 billion sports entertainment powerhouse.
The newly formed, yet-to-be-named public company will see Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. holding a 51% controlling stake, while the current WWE shareholders will retain a 49% interest. UFC’s enterprise value is pegged at $12.1 billion, and WWE’s at $9.3 billion.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will lead the new company, while WWE’s Vince McMahon will continue as executive chairman. Dana White remains UFC president, and Nick Khan serves as WWE president.
McMahon shared his excitement in a statement on Monday, highlighting the new company’s potential, with a combined fanbase of over a billion people worldwide. He outlined their focus on maximizing media rights value, enhancing sponsorship monetization, developing innovative content, and exploring strategic mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their brands further.
Both WWE and UFC have already seen some talent crossover, with stars like Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey making waves in both worlds.
This deal brings WWE into a new era, after being a family-run business for decades. Vince McMahon bought Capitol Wrestling from his father in 1982 and transformed it into the global phenomenon we know today, featuring legends like Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The company held its first WrestleMania in 1985.
WWE has been an attractive target for potential buyers due to its worldwide reach and devoted fanbase, which spans all ages and income groups. The company recorded $1.3 billion in revenue last year and boasts a staggering social media presence, with 16 billion social video views in Q4 last year and a whopping 94 million YouTube subscribers.
The new entity plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TKO,” with an 11-member board comprising six Endeavor appointees and five WWE appointees.
Analysts are optimistic about the combined power of UFC and WWE in a market where live sports content is in high demand as linear TV loses ground to streaming services.
The deal, approved by both Endeavor and WWE boards, is expected to close in the second half of this year, pending regulatory approval. WWE shares have risen 33% this year but dropped over 6% on Monday morning, while Endeavor shares climbed more than 4%.
So, wrestling and fighting fans, what are your thoughts on this historic merger? Share your opinions in the comments below and stay tuned to TheGuyBlog.com for more entertainment, sports, and health updates!