Endeavor Group Acquires WWE, Merges with UFC to Form $21 Billion Live Sports and Entertainment Powerhouse CNBC initially reported on Sunday that Ari Emanuel's Endeavor Group had purchased WWE, and the news has now been officially confirmed.
WWE will merge with UFC, forming a new publicly-traded company with a combined value of over $21 billion. Vince McMahon, who returned to WWE's Board of Directors as executive chairman in January to reportedly facilitate the sale, said the move is "the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders." The acquisition will create a global live sports and entertainment powerhouse, boasting a collective fan base of more than a billion people and offering an exciting growth opportunity.
McMahon and the current WWE management team are eager to collaborate with Ari Emanuel, the Endeavor, and UFC teams to elevate the businesses to new heights.
Leadership Roles in Endeavor-WWE Merger
As per the acquisition agreement, McMahon will continue serving as the board's executive chairman.
Ari Emanuel will assume the CEO role, while Mark Shapiro will act as President and COO for both Endeavor and the new company. Dana White and Nick Khan will maintain their current positions as President of UFC and President of WWE, respectively.
Ari Emanuel expressed his excitement about the merger: "This is a rare opportunity to create global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed." He commended Vince McMahon and his team for their impressive innovation and shareholder value creation track record over the years.
Emanuel is confident that Endeavor can significantly increase shareholder value by uniting UFC and WWE. As per the deal, Endeavor will acquire a 51% stake in WWE, with the remaining 49% retained by WWE's existing shareholders.
The new company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the "TKO." The transaction values WWE at $9.3 billion, which aligns with McMahon's reported asking price back in February. However, WWE stock has dropped in pre-market trading, indicating investors may disagree with the valuation. The announcement comes just one day after the conclusion of WrestleMania 39.
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