WWE and Endeavor have announced they expect to close the planned merger of UFC and WWE on September 12.
Last spring, Endeavor and WWE struck a deal for UFC’s parent company to acquire the WWE. Under the leadership of Ari Emanuel, Endeavor is set to assume control of WWE and bring it together with UFC. This will create a brand-new entity in the process called TKO Group Holdings, and it will be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as TKO.
With a valuation of $21 billion, TKO will operate as a subsidiary of Endeavor, holding the majority share at 51%. WWE, will retain a 49% stake in this venture. Emanuel will be CEO. Dana White will continue as president of UFC and Vince McMahon will be the executive chairman of the new company’s board.
In a statement back in April, Vince McMahon said: “Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders.”
McMahon continued, “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. The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands. I, along with the current WWE management team, look forward to working closely with Ari and the Endeavor and UFC teams to take the businesses to the next level.”