Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., the parent company of UFC, announced Monday a deal to acquire WWE from Vince McMahon and formed a new public company.
Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company while WWE shareholders will have a 49% stake. The deal values UFC at $12.1 billion and WWE at $9.3 billion. The announcement comes hours after WWE hosted WrestleMania 39 in Inglewood, California.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said in a news release. “This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed.”
McMahon added, “Together, we 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.”
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Emanuel will become the new CEO of the company and continue his role as CEO of Endeavor. McMahon, who bought WWE from his father in 1982 will be the executive chairman of the board. Mark Shapiro will be the chief operating officer of the new company and Endeavor. Nick Khan will serve as the president of WWE, and Dana White will continue as president of UFC.
McMahon, who retired last year amid a sexual misconduct scandal, came back to the company in January looking to sell the company. McMahon was later elected executive chairman. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, had taken over alongside Khan as co-CEO when McMahon retired. Stephanie McMahon has since stepped down as chairwoman and co-CEO.
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Khan has mentioned to CNBC, though, that Vince McMahon is willing to leave the company in the event of the sale despite returning as executive chairman.
McMahon considers WWE his “life story,” and he will retain exclusive rights to it in the event of a sale as well. So, books, documentaries and more can be done by him.
When McMahon retired, the Wall Street Journal previously reported that he paid more than $12 million in the past 16 years to “suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.”
Fox Business’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.
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