Endeavor’s UFC, WWE Merge; Ari Emanuel to serve as CEO, Vince McMahon as executive chairman – The Hollywood Reporter

Endeavor Group Holdings World Wrestling Entertainment made things official on Monday, unveiling a definitive agreement to create a new, publicly listed company comprising two “iconic, complementary” global sports and entertainment brands, UFC and WWE. Endeavor will have 51 percent control of the new company, with existing WWE shareholders holding a 49 percent interest.

The new company will be led by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, who will continue to fill the same role as the rest of the Endeavor business, with WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon as executive chairman and Mark Shapiro as president and chief operating officer of Endeavor and the companies. New company. Dana White will continue in her role as president of the UFC, holding the same title of president at WWE as WWE CEO Nick Kahn White. The new company’s board of directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six will be named by Endeavor and five will be appointed by WWE.

The deal is expected to close in the second half. The UFC and WWE have an estimated $50 million-$100 million in annual cost synergies. The companies said the target was “by leveraging Endeavor’s back office and robust infrastructure.” “Endeavor anticipates significant growth in revenue areas including domestic and international media rights, ticket sales and revenue optimization, event operations, sponsorship, licensing and premium hospitality.”

In that context, Endeavor said of its success at UFC, including “business opportunities that have increased adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) growth by more than 2x since the acquisition in late 2016.”

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The new publicly traded company’s ticker symbol is TKO, which stands for “technical knockout” in combat sports.

“Together, UFC and WWE will have global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution,” the companies said. “On a combined 2022 fiscal year-end basis, the UFC and WWE are projected to generate $2.4 billion in revenue and a 10% annual revenue growth rate through 2019.”

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pure game, where the industry is headed,” Emanuel said. “Over the decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we believe Endeavor can provide significant added value to shareholders by bringing the UFC and WWE together.”

Added McMahon: “The incredible work Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand — nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years — and the tremendous success we’ve already had partnering with their team on so many initiatives, I believe this is undoubtedly the best decision for our shareholders and other stakeholders.

He added: “We will be a $21-billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a combined fanbase of over a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity. We will continue to leverage our combined media rights to increase value, improve sponsorship monetization, create new forms of content and other The new entity will be well positioned to pursue strategic mergers and acquisitions and further develop our strong stable of brands.

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