The future of WWE changed forever when it was announced that the company would be merging with UFC under parent company Endeavor to form a new $21+ billion entity.
Talk of a WWE sale has been in the air for months, ever since Vince McMahon elected himself back to the board of directors back in January after retiring in July amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money payments. Now, McMahon will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of the new company, currently listed on the stock exchange as TKO. Dana White remains UFC President while former WWE CEO Nick Khan now serves as WWE President. Endeavor head Ari Emanuel will be CEO of the new company.
A recent SEC filing listed the new company as being called New Whale Inc., though this name was believed to be a placeholder and subject to change.
Now, a report from CNBC confirms that New Whale was not the final name of the new corporation, which will instead be called TKO Holding Group. The company will continue trading under the stock symbol TKO.
Ari Emanuel Insisted Vince McMahon Be Part Of The WWE/UFC Merger Under Endeavor
Speaking in an April interview with Squawk on the Street, Ari Emanuel revealed that he insisted Vince McMahon be part of his new corporation despite the scandal surrounding the Chairman of the Board.
“I would have bodyslammed him if he thought he thought he was going to leave. Here’s a man who has seen around the corner at every beat over the last 40 years of this business and has a vision of this business way before a lot of people see it. Him now being able to utilize what we’ve built in our flywheel, I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I have Vince McMahon, a visionary that sees around the corner, I have Dana White and what we’ve built. That’s pretty unstoppable.”
Continuing, Emanuel pointed to his history with McMahon and said that trust is important in building a new business relationship.
“I wasn’t going to let him [leave WWE]. We’ve had a relationship for 23 years. There’s a trust, a friendship. When you’re going into business and going forward, that’s important. I’m glad he chose us because it was a very competitive situation. For us, it’s an honor, and we’re so lucky because of his vision of where the business is and where it’s going.”