(NEW YORK) — Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, acquired World Wrestling Entertainment on Monday in a merger that values the WWE at $9.3 billion, forming a worldwide combat sports behemoth, the companies said in a joint announcement.
Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, will remain the head of the newly formed company, which holds a total value of $21 billion, the announcement said. UFC is worth an estimated $12.1 billion, according to the announcement.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” Emanuel said in a statement.
Ultimately, Endeavor will retain a 51% controlling interest in the new company and WWE will hold the other 49% share.
Vince McMahon, the executive chairman of WWE, will continue in that role. The announcement comes a day after the WWE’s biggest event of the year, WrestleMania. The two-day event had more than 160,000 in attendance, the company announced and featured celebrities like rapper Snoop Dogg, NFL star George Kittle and former UFC competitor and current WWE star Brock Lesnar.
“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,” McMahon said in a statement.
UFC and WWE brought in a combined $2.4 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2022, marking 10% annual revenue growth since 2019, the announcement said.
Dana White, the president of UFC, will retain that position under the new company.
The new company will appoint a board of directors made up of six representatives from Endeavor and five from WWE.
“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,” Emanuel said.
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