WWE and the Endeavour Group have officially merged as part of a $21 billion venture.
In a press release published by the company, the new publicly listed company will consist of 51% ownership of Endeavour and 49% of existing shareholders of the company.
WWE and UFC To Merge As New Company
Ariel Emanuel, who is the CEO of Endeavour, has stated his reasons behind the joint venture:
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “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.”
Executive Chairman Vince McMahon has also praised the new business move, stating that this is the best option for the shareholders of the company and the new company will be in a better position to negotiate further media rights deals:
“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,” said Vincent K. McMahon, Executive Chairman of WWE. 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.”
The new company will be led by Emanuel and McMahon, who will continue their roles as CEO and Executive Chairman of the Board respectively. Mark Shapiro has been announced as the President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavour and the new company. Dana White will continue as UFC President and Nick Khan will remain as President of WWE. The board will consist of 11 members to be announced at a later date, with 6 being from Endeavour and 5 being from World Wrestling Entertainment.
The press release adds the value of each company as a result of the transaction. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has a value of $12.1 billion, while World Wrestling Entertainment is valued at $9.3 billion. With the company name still to be announced, the new venture will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as TKO.
The announcement of the sales comes less than 24 hours after WrestleMania 39 concluded, with Roman Reigns defeating Cody Rhodes in the main event of the show.