Endeavor’s UFC, WWE Merger; Ari Emanuel to serve as CEO, Vince McMahon as executive chairman – The Hollywood Reporter

Endeavor Group Holdings World Wrestling Entertainment made things official on Monday, unveiling a definitive agreement to create a new, publicly listed company comprising two “iconic, complementary” global sports and entertainment brands, UFC and WWE. Endeavor will have 51 percent control of the new company, with existing WWE shareholders holding a 49 percent interest.

The new company will be headed by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, who will continue to fill the same role at the rest of Endeavor, with WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon as executive chairman and Mark Shapiro as president and chief operating officer of Endeavor and the new companies. Company. Dana White will continue in her role as president of the UFC, holding the same title of president at WWE as WWE CEO Nick Kahn White. The new company’s board of directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six will be named by Endeavor and five will be appointed by WWE.

The deal is expected to close in the second half. The UFC and WWE have an estimated $50 million-$100 million in annual cost synergies.

The new publicly traded company’s ticker symbol is TKO, which stands for “technical knockout” in combat sports.

“Together, UFC and WWE will have global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution,” the companies said. “On a combined 2022 fiscal year-end basis, the UFC and WWE are projected to generate $2.4 billion in revenue and a 10% annualized revenue growth rate through 2019.”

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pure game, where the industry is headed,” Emanuel said. “Over the decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we believe Endeavor can provide significant added value to shareholders by bringing the UFC and WWE together.”

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Added McMahon: “The incredible work Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand — nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years — and the tremendous success we’ve already had partnering with their team on so many initiatives, I believe this is undoubtedly the best decision for our shareholders and other stakeholders.

He added: “Together, we will be a $21 billion-plus live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a combined fan base of over a billion people and an incredible growth opportunity. The new entity will be well positioned to further develop our strong stable of brands to increase the value of our consolidated media rights, improve sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions.

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