WWE Nearing Sale to UFC Parent Company Endeavor: What We Know So Far
In a surprising turn of events, it has been reported that the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) is in advanced talks to be sold to Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). If the deal goes through, it could be announced as soon as Monday.
What We Know About the Potential Deal
The deal would see the formation of a new publicly traded company that would merge the combat sports and entertainment of both the WWE and UFC. Endeavor would own 51% of the new company, while WWE shareholders would own the remaining 49%. This would give WWE an enterprise value of $9.3 billion, a staggering amount.
Ari Emanuel, the founder and CEO of Endeavor, is expected to serve as the chief executive of both Endeavor and the new company. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE, is expected to be the executive chairman of the new company, while Dana White will remain as the president of UFC. Mark Shapiro, the president of Endeavor, will also work in the same role at the new company. WWE CEO Nick Khan will serve as the president of the wrestling business.
The Potential Impact on WWE
The sale would effectively end WWE's decades-long status as a family-run business. Vince McMahon's father founded the company in its original incarnation, and McMahon is currently the controlling shareholder. However, if the sale goes through, McMahon's role in the company will be reduced to executive chairman.
Despite this, the potential deal could be good news for investors, as shares of WWE have risen more than 33% this year alone, giving it a market value of over $6.79 billion. The sale could also potentially benefit the WWE's media and live events business, along with its vast intellectual property.
The Culture Fit
Interestingly, the WWE would seemingly fit well with the cultures at Endeavor and UFC. McMahon and Emanuel are both known for their brash personalities, making them a good match. Meanwhile, White, like McMahon, has been no stranger to scandal, as evidenced by a recent video that surfaced showing him slapping his wife during a public argument at a New Year's Eve party in Mexico.
If the sale goes through, it could mark a new era for both the WWE and UFC, with the formation of a new publicly traded company that could potentially dominate the combat sports and entertainment industry. However, the deal is not yet finalized, and only time will tell what the future holds for both companies.