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Endeavor takeover: All you need to know about the reported UFC ownership change

UFC Fight Night Andrade v Zhang
UFC Fight Night Andrade v Zhang
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
News

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel is reportedly interested in acquiring the remaining shares of UFC that the Hollywood super agent's conglomerate does not already hold.

Endeavor owns 50.1 percent of the world's most famous fighting organization, with the remaining 49.9 percent being split between Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and MSD Capital via Zuffa, LLC.

According to the New York Post, Endeavor is now looking to scoop up the remaining portion for its next attempt to go public after the first attempt fell apart in 2019.

Under the umbrella of companies held by Endeavor, UFC has been the most lucrative one, especially during the pandemic. The MMA promotion reportedly generated 80 percent of Endeavor's overall profit in 2020.

Even before the health and economic crises started, UFC was already accounting for a significant share of Endeavor's profit, with 50 percent of the company's annual earnings.

Unlike most other sports and entertainment industries, UFC proved to be one of the few companies to have dealt with the pandemic without major perils.

Ultimate Fighting Championship was back promoting its events after only two months of inactivity from March 2020, which continued to happen every weekend since then.

Why does Endeavor want to buy UFC now?

According to the New York Post, Ari Emanuel's company seems to believe that adding UFC to its portfolio would increase the chances of a successful initial public offering (IPO).

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As mentioned above, the MMA promotion was already providing for half of Endeavor's yearly profits and even more than that in the post-pandemic panorama.

The renewed IPO bid is being led by Morgan Stanley and is set to be filed in early April. Endeavor hopes that holding the totality of UFC would offer investors a 'stronger package.'

How much does UFC cost?

According to the same source that has informed the New York Post about the planned takeover, Endeavor is not yet clear on the figures that the company is willing to pay to complete the transaction.

But it is believed that UFC has a valuation between $6 billion and $10 billion, being the most valuable asset under Endeavor's management.

According to UFC president Dana White, the fighting organization was sold for $4 billion in 2016 when Zuffa took over.

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What will change in UFC if the deal materializes?

It is uncertain what it actually means for UFC in case Endeavor takes complete control over the company. However, we can expect not many changes since the promotion is already doing well as it is.

Under Dana White's stewardship, who assumed the position in 2001, UFC has become a worldwide famous multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

With over 500 events held across 28 years of history, it seems like this can be only the beginning for UFC.

Published 01 Apr 2021, 05:18 IST
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