WWE and UFC will merge to create new $21 billion sports and entertainment company

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/04/03/wwe-and-ufc-will-merge-to-create-new-21-billion-sports-and-entertainment-company/

Endeavor and WWE have officially announced a deal to form a new $21 billion company, merging the UFC and WWE.

Endeavor is the parent company of the UFC. Vince McMahon will hold a very senior role in the new set-up.

Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company. Existing WWE shareholders will hold the remaining 49%.

The new company has not yet been named but will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker code “TKO”.

The transaction values the UFC at an enterprise value of $12.1 billion and WWE at an enterprise value of $9.3 billion.

The deal has been unanimously approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Endeavor and by the Board of Directors of WWE. It is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2023.

The new company will be led by Emanuel as Chief Executive Officer, who will also continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, McMahon as Executive Chairman of the Board, and Mark Shapiro, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavor and the new company.

Dana White will continue in his role as President of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as President of WWE.

A press statement notes that, together, UFC and WWE expect to deliver $50 million to $100 million in annual savings by leveraging, among other things, Endeavor’s existing back-office structure.

In the press release, Ariel Emanuel, Endeavor CEO, states:

This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed. 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.

McMahon states:

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.

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 Board of Directors of the new company will consist of 11 members to be appointed at a later date. Six will be appointed by Endeavor and five by WWE.

The press release goes on to state:

The transaction represents a contribution price of WWE of approximately $106 per share (before any post-closing dividend). Additionally, UFC and WWE will each contribute cash to the new company so that it holds approximately $150 million. At closing, Endeavor intends to sweep all excess cash at UFC, and shareholders of the new company (other than Endeavor) are expected to receive a post-closing dividend.

WWE and Endeavor have produced an investor presentation, and a webcast of a WWE/UFC conference call is available on both the WWE and Endeavor corporate websites.

There will be further coverage of this story on POST Wrestling throughout the day.

This really is the end of an era, and pretty crazy thing to see happen.

Uncharted territory. Going to be interesting to see what happens. I assume long time loyalty and history with the company really don’t mean the same thing anymore either - given my limited knowledge of how UFC has worked with their own history and talent.

Also, Endeavor is in tremendous debt over this, no? So I have to assume bottom line will take precedence over everything else.

@MJfromNJ get here soon to give us your opinion! Haha

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I assume this means the end for any involvement of UFC on AEW?

I think that’s a safe bet.

That said… Nobody is going to miss Dan Lambert.

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The annual post-Mania mass firing is going to be crazy this year. Sorry in advance to all the staff that will be affected by this merger.

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All of a sudden WWE will realize that PPV isn’t dead. I see fans having to pay a lot more for big shows soon.

I have to say, I am very happy about this. I was pretty much of the mind set, anyone but the Saudis.

All I hope is that Vince is not in charge of creative, if I get that, I’m good.

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Vince has declared he will be involved in creative, but claims that Paul is in charge. But he used the same phrasing that he when Bischoff and Heyman were “in charge” of creative in 2019.

Overall, it’s gross to see Vince securing this much power and nobody seemingly upset that this rapist is still the company’s figurehead.

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I’m curious what exactly you want to see from people? How should we be reacting, in your opinion?

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Fair dues, and I’m interested as well! lol!

I will say this, while I think people can learn from their mistakes and grow, it’s become clear that regardless of how fierce the online fervor, seemingly all anyone in power in corporate America has to do is ride out the storm of angry online messages and a 24-hour news cycle.

While the mob has “power of opinion,” the corporate powers have the “power of profits.” The voice of the online mob doesn’t really work now that corporate America has realized it can maintain a status quo but simply riding out the storm.

While it’s shitty that random people are celebrating a rapist and power broker becoming richer, more successful, and paying to make a criminal offense go away, I’m not sure what outrage anyone is expecting or how it will manifest in the world to make a change either.

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Buy low, sell high. Looks like I can sell my piece now.

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You’re (maybe) now rich! Congratulations, and we expect to see a photo of your Scrooge McDuck pool of money to swim in (above-ground pool works)! :laughing: :duck: :moneybag: :swimming_man: :money_with_wings: :laughing:

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What do you want from me? Am I supposed to go on Twitter and rant and about the injustice? I’m not “happy” Vince is still involved, I’ve been pretty clear that I don’t want him involved. With that said, I can’t change anything, so as long as the Saudi’s are not involved and he’s not running creative, I can accept that (what choice do I have)……but like I’ve told you a many many times, I think all billionaires are immoral. Replace one with another, it doesn’t change anything.

What I do know, while Vince does still have power, he has less power today then he did yesterday and given how he plays with others, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets ousted sooner then later.

I’ve been on Wrestlenomics a bit lately talking with Brandon. Some of it is outdated already as is the case with these evolving stories but the crux remains:

Need big Tv rights in a challenging environment
Will be very revenue focused
Opportunity for incredible economies of scale.
Historic not just in WWE terms but in the sports media landscape.

Sorry, also this:
image

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Thank you. Catching up on the weekend’s episodes right now!

Well, you got half of it.

I think this is likely what a lot of us feel. Wrestling is a form of entertainment that cultivates emotional attachments to the talents. It’s hard to turn my back on (insert wrestler’s name here - we all know it’s Sami Zayn) because I know the guy behind the curtain paid people off to cover up workplace romances and alleged sexual crimes (and while I think it falls under the ‘highly bloody likely’ category I’ll continue to say ‘alleged’ because we have a court of law for a reason - let it do it’s job).

He’s now an employee that means he now has someone that he reports to. Hopefully that does what it’s supposed to do.

It’s simple - the only real protest one can make is if they’re willing to stop watching the WWE, buying the merch, engaging with the IP. Anything short of that is some form of ethical compromise. It’s one that I’ve done. Hunter being in charge made it easier to trick ourselves we were doing it - but we were. And we’ll continue to do so.

Myself included.

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image

Breaking news!!! Vance McMahon, Vince’s twin brother sells the company!!:joy::joy:

I understand the sale, but everyone surrounding the higher ups in the WWE are already wealthy and well taken care of. Guaranteed I’m missing something, but why sell your family’s business, when giving your grandkids an opportunity to run the company is an option?

See I’m not tricking myself, I realize it can be interpreted as an ethical compromise. However IMO if a person refuses to engage with a company that has a high level individual who has ethical issues (especially if we are talking over the past 30 years), then just stop watching wrestling and sports all together, stop wearing any brand of clothing with any level of recognition, stop buying most beef, pork, poultry etc etc etc.

Here is where I draw my line. If Vince was in charge right now and was currently known to be assaulting woman, I wouldn’t watch. Knowing he had relationships with women over the years given his position of power is gross, but if it’s stopped I’m not going to stop watching now. The rape allegation is obviously even grosser, and if he was doing that to employees currently, then yes I would stop watching. However the majority of fans knew about these allegations for decades, I’m not going to pretend like I can’t watch now because it finally got media attention.

That’s where I stand. I don’t support Vince, I’m not going to cheer for Vince, but I’m not going to not enjoy something I love and have loved for 30+ years because one man (and probably some around him) are bad people because if I did I’m essentially giving up all wrestling and sports in general.

The reason why I am good with it not being the Saudis is because with them, I don’t believe anything changes. With Endeveour I don’t think Vince continues that type of behaviour. Yes I didn’t like their handling of Dana White, but while they accepted that incident, I don’t think they accept Vince sexually assaulting employees.

Not defending Endevour for previous behaviour, but I think under that umbrella it’s a safer work environment then what it would have been under the Saudis or what it was a when Vince was essentially “the guy” in terms of being in charge (we all saw how little power the board actually had in the long term). He doesn’t have that same power now.

I also find it interesting how some who are upset about this were literally laughing when they thought the Saudi’s purchased the company. Forces me to question if the main reason for their anger is the morality of the situation, or if it bothers them that WWE and Vince are going to likely expand their market share now, while if he sold to the Saudi’s they likely loose market share.

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I think we’re arguing the same side. My post was in support not in rebuttal.

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Ya I know……sorry if it came off that way. I’m more so speaking to the room and quoted you to use your post as a jumping off point.

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