Endeavor Group Holdings, the parent company of the UFC, is set to launch its IPO at $24 per share. The company is scheduled to start trading at the New York Stock Exchange from Thursday, 29th April.
The company will raise $511 million by offering 21.1 million shares to investors. According to paperwork filed by Endeavor with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2021, the company will look to raise another $1.8 billion from institutional investors.
Endeavor Holdings Group is a global entertainment conglomerate that owns talent firms such as William Morris and IMG apart from the MMA promotion UFC. They also produce movies and events like the Miss Universe pageant. Endeavor's $4.05 billion purchase of the UFC in 2016 was the biggest acquisition in the sports world at the time.
Investment firms Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and MSD Capital, led by WME IMG, are primary owners of the UFC. Starting on August 18, 2021, any of the primary owners can exercise a demand right for the UFC to go public. However, the right can be exercised only after the launch of the Endeavor IPO.
Endeavor initially sought to launch its IPO in September 2019. However, the company pulled out a day before the launch due to concerns over the UFC's potential at the time.
Although Endeavor is a global conglomerate, a fourth of its value comes from the UFC. MMA is still not a mainstream sport and concerns were raised about the long-term success of the UFC and, in turn, Endeavor at the time.
The company pulled the IPO out of the market a day before its launch due to weakness in the IPO market and concerns surrounding its potential at the time.
Endeavor added Elon Musk to its board of directors earlier in 2021
A New York Post article broke the news of Elon Musk joining Endeavor's board of directors in March 2021. Endeavor cited Musk's 'professional background and experience running a public company and his experience in starting, growing, and integrating businesses' as the reason behind his appointment.
The UFC has organized a series of mega-cards in 2021, featuring multiple title fights and superstars like Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and Jorge Masvidal. It is not completely out of the realm of possibility that the promotion has been trying to generate interest among investors by starting 2021 on such a high note.