World Wrestling Entertainment is owned by Vince McMahon.
According to those familiar with the situation, is in advanced discussions to be sold to Ari Emanuel’s Endeavour Group, the parent company of UFC.
A contract might be revealed as early as Monday. According to the persons who refused to be identified owing to the private nature of the conversations, the UFC and WWE are set to launch a new publicly listed business as part of the arrangement.
According to the individuals, Endeavour will control 51% of the new combat sports and entertainment firm, while WWE stockholders will possess 49%. According to them, the Endeavour acquisition gives WWE an enterprise value of $9.3 billion.
Emanuel is likely to serve as CEO of both Endeavour and the new entity. McMahon is likely to serve as executive chairman, while Endeavour CEO Mark Shapiro will also serve in the same capacity at the new business. Dana White will continue to lead the UFC, while WWE CEO Nick Khan will lead the wrestling company.
The news comes the same weekend that WWE conducts its marquee live event, WrestleMania, in California. The firm has been seeking a buyer for some months. McMahon returned to the firm in January as chairman to supervise the process. WWE stock has risen more than 33% this year, valuing the company at more than $6.79 billion.
The agreement basically puts an end to WWE’s decades-long status as a family-run enterprise. McMahon’s father started WWE in its original form in the mid-twentieth century, and McMahon is the company’s main shareholder. In 1982, McMahon purchased the firm from his father. Since then, the organisation has become a worldwide phenomenon, producing superstars like Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dave Bautista, and John Cena.
McMahon, who was 77 at the time, left the company in July after it was said that he paid many women millions of dollars to keep quiet about rumours of romances and wrongdoing.Stephanie McMahon, his daughter, joined Khan as co-CEO. Vince McMahon’s creative powers were taken over by Paul Levesque, Stephanie McMahon’s husband, and the wrestler known as Triple H.
When Vince McMahon returned in January, Stephanie McMahon stepped down, and Khan took over as CEO entirely. According to a securities filing, the older McMahon just signed a two-year job deal.
Khan has been making the rounds in the media in recent weeks to explore the possible sale. On Thursday, he told CNBC’s Morgan Brennan that the selling process had been vigorous, with several potential purchasers.
WWE delivers a thriving media and live events industry as well as decades of intellectual property. Last year, the firm earned $1.29 billion in sales, mostly from its $1 billion media division.
Endeavor’s investment in the UFC has paid off. Last year, the MMA league contributed $1.3 billion in income to Endeavor Sports sports company. Endeavor’s market capitalization was around $10.53 billion as of Friday’s closing. The merger between Endeavour and WWE values UFC at more than $12 billion.
At first glance, WWE seems to be a good match for the cultures of Endeavour and UFC. McMahon has a boisterous public presence, which seems to be a good fit for Emanuel and White, both of whom are recognised for their outsized personalities.
Like McMahon, White has a history of controversy. Earlier this year, footage surfaced of UFC president Dana White striking his wife during a public altercation at a New Year’s Eve party in Mexico. White expressed regret.