Yesterday we learned that the WWE would soon be sold to the parent company of UFC Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Group, according to a report from CNBC. This morning Emanuel confirmed the deal with some more details.
“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.”
“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, UFC and WWE will have global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution,” Endeavor said in a statement.
The sale will set the value of WWE at about $9.3 billion. This is in line with what Vince McMahon, the owner, is looking to sell for as it was reported he wanted $9 billion for the WWE. How does that compare to other sports brands that have recently been sold? Right now, the Denver Broncos are pending a sale to the Walton-Penner group for $6.5 billion. A bundle deal for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury was sold for $4 billion. The New York Mets sold for $2.4 billion, according to ESPN.
With this deal, Endeavor will get 51% ownership, and WWE shareholders would get 49% ownership. This deal would merge WWE and UFC into a single publicly traded company.
The new company will be led by Ari Emanuel as CEO, Vince McMahon will be the executive chairman of the board and Mark Shapiro, who will be president and COO of both Endeavor and the newly merged company. Many others will stay on board as Dana White will continue in his role as president of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as president of WWE.
There will also be a board of directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five by WWE.
What do you think of this deal? Are you surprised by the $9.3 billion price tag? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.