Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE), the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), have announced a massive $21.4 billion merger.
The new publicly traded sports and entertainment company will house the UFC and WWE brands. Endeavor will hold a controlling 51% stake in the company, while existing WWE shareholders will hold the remaining 49%.
The new company will be led by Endeavor CEO and Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a pure global live sports and entertainment game designed for the direction the industry is heading,” Emanuel said in a statement. Press release. “For decades, [WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon] and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and creating shareholder value, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional shareholder value by bringing the UFC and WWE together.
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Dana White will remain president of the UFC, while McMahon will serve as executive chairman of the new company.
“Together, we will be a $21 billion+ live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fan base of over one billion people and an exciting opportunity for growth,” McMahon said. “The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, improve sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further strengthen our strong stable of brands.
The deal values the UFC at just over $12 billion and the WWE business at $9.3 billion.
Current WWE shareholders will inject their existing shares into the new company, which intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TKO”.
The massive merger is expected to be completed later this year.