May 23, 2019 - Economy

Ari Emanuel's Endeavor files for IPO

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Endeavor Group, the talent agency and live events company led by Ari Emanuel, filed for an initial public offering on Thursday.

Why it matters: In addition to owning Hollywood's largest talent agency, Endeavor also houses the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Professional Bull Riders, plus a video streaming effort that's signed such clients as World Wrestling Entertainment.

  • Endeavor reports $231 million of profit on $3.6 billion in revenue for 2018. That swings to a $152 million net loss on around $1 billion in revenue for Q1 2019.
  • Its largest segment is sports and entertainment ($2.77 billion in 2018 revenue), followed by representation ($1.3 billion).
  • It plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker EDR
  • Goldman Sachs is the IPO's co-lead underwriter with KKR, which in 2016 helped Endeavor purchase Ultimate Fighting Championship for over $4 billion.
  • The company's other major private equity backer is Silver Lake, although specific ownership stakes weren't disclosed in the IPO filing. We'll get that later.
  • Endeavor didn't disclose how much it plans to raise in the IPO, only listing a $100 million placeholder figure.
  • It plans to use a dual-class stock structure, which would keep the company controlled by Emanuel, Silver Lake and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell.

Emanuel writes in the IPO prospectus:

"Content is no longer defined solely by the traditional categories on which our businesses were founded. Television, movies and live events have been joined by others including podcasts, experiences, social media, multiplayer video games and esports. Wherever you are in the world and whatever way you define content, Endeavor is likely playing a role."

Go deeper: Endeavor no longer looks like the Hollywood talent agency of old

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