scorecardWWE and UFC owner Endeavor are combining to form a $21 billion sports and entertainment giant
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WWE and UFC owner Endeavor are combining to form a $21 billion sports and entertainment giant

George Glover   

WWE and UFC owner Endeavor are combining to form a $21 billion sports and entertainment giant
Investment1 min read
  • WWE and UFC owner Endeavor are merging, the two companies said Monday.
  • The move marks the end of a three-month long sale process for WWE.

World Wrestling Entertainment and UFC owner Endeavor Group Holdings will combine to form a new publicly listed entertainment giant that could be worth $21 billion or more, the two companies said Monday.

The merger between the two combat-sport powerhouses comes three months after WWE cofounder and former CEO Vince McMahon rejoined the pro wrestling giant's board in January to explore a potential sale.

The new company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker "TKO," according to WWE and Endeavor.

"Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity," McMahon said in a statement Monday.

The merger agreement values WWE shares at around $106 each, 16% higher than the $91.26 level they traded at as of Friday's close.

Endeavor will own a 51% controlling interest in the new company, with WWE holding a 49% stake. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will carry on in his current role, while McMahon will be the executive chairman of the new company's board as part of the deal.

Emanuel rose to prominence as a high-profile Hollywood agent and has previously invested in bull-riding events, fashion shows and tennis competitions. He pledged to grow the company through lucrative media and licensing deals and by improving operating efficiency.

"This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed," he said.

"For decades, Vince 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," Emanuel added.

WWE shares slipped 2% to just over $89 Monday, while Endeavor's stock fell 6% to under $23 by the closing bell.

Read more: WWE shares jump 22% as former CEO Vince McMahon announces surprise comeback




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