UFC parent body Endeavor to go private again in $27.50 per share Silver Lake deal less than 3 years after IPO

UFC
UFC's (Dana White; right) parent company Endeavor (Ariel Emanuel; left) nears return to private ownership with $27.50 per share Silver Lake transaction [Images courtesy: Getty Images]

Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, has recently announced its plans to be acquired by the private equity firm Silver Lake for $27.50 per share. This move marks a return to private ownership just three years after the sports, entertainment, and talent management conglomerate went public.

Silver Lake will purchase all remaining shares it does not currently hold, resulting in Endeavor being acquired at a total equity value of $13 billion, as confirmed by a statement from the entertainment company.

With the equity firm already owning 71% of Endeavor's voting shares, this acquisition translates to an additional $4.6 billion in equity value for all Endeavor shareholders. The deal is anticipated to be finalized in the first quarter of 2025.

TKO Group Holdings, formed through the merger of WWE and UFC last year, will not be part of the Endeavor-Silver Lake transaction and will remain a publicly traded entity. This decision follows shortly after the media holding company announced a "strategic review" of its assets in October 2023, with the aim of exploring new avenues to enhance shareholder value, including the possibility of going private.

Silver Lake's involvement with the UFC's parent organization traces back to their initial investment in William Morris Endeavor in 2012. This partnership persisted through Endeavor's acquisition of International Management Group in 2014 and the subsequent purchase of the MMA promotion in 2016.


Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel's insights on alliance with Silver Lake

Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel conveyed appreciation and assurance regarding the enduring strategic collaboration with Silver Lake.

Emanuel also recognized the significant contribution of Egon Durban, co-CEO and managing partner of the equity firm, emphasizing their combined role in propelling Endeavor's evolution into a prominent figure in the global sports and entertainment industry (statement via The Hollywood Reporter):

"Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today. We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company."

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Edited by Tejas Rathi