It’s official: Endeavor, parent company of the UFC, will acquire “sports entertainment” juggernaut WWE in a multi-billion dollar deal.
The move will see Endeavor pick up a 51% controlling stake in a newly formed subsidiary company, publicly traded as TKO and housing both WWE and UFC. The remaining 49% interest in the organization will be made up of WWE shareholders.
Dana White will remain on board as UFC President, while Nick Khan will remain as his WWE counterpart. Vince McMahon will serve above them as Executive Chairman of the Board, with Ari Emanuel as Chief Executive Officer (while remaining as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor) and Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavor and the newly formed company.
On Monday, White released a brief statement in response to the news.
“This company has been on fire for the last seven years and now that we will be adding WWE to the portfolio, I am excited to take this to another level,” White said. “Vince [McMahon] is a savage in the wrestling space, Ari [Emmanuel] is a beast at what he does, and then add what we at UFC bring to the table and there is no limit to what this company can accomplish in the next few years.”
Under terms of the deal, the UFC is valued at $12.1 billion, with WWE pegged at $9.3 billion USD. Endeavor purchased a 50.1% stake in the UFC in 2016, then took full control of the promotion in 2021. The initial price tag for the 2016 transaction was over $4 billion dollars — but the move has paid off for Endeavor, who are no doubt hoping for even greater results by bringing WWE and UFC under one roof.
McMahon, one of the most infamous figures in pro wrestling history, gave his take on the deal in a press release issued Monday, saying in part that “Together, we [UFC and WWE] 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.”