Mar 31, 2021 - Economy & Business

Ari Emanuel's Endeavor agrees to buy all of UFC

UFC fight.
Miranda Maverick punches Gillian Robertson in a March 27 UFC fight. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Endeavor, the talent agency and live events company led by Ari Emanuel, has agreed to acquire 100% of Ultimate Fighting Championship, according to information contained in a Wednesday afternoon IPO filing.

Background: Endeavor currently has a 50.1% stake in UFC, based on a 2016 deal done alongside private equity firms Silver Lake and KKR.

Endeavor did not disclose how much it plans to raise in the IPO, beyond a $100 million placeholder figure, but proceeds are expected to help finance the UFC purchase.

  • Endeavor previously planned to go public in 2019, but pulled the plan at the last minute due to weak investor demand.
  • In addition to UFC and the WME and IMG talent agencies, Endeavor owns the Professional Bull Riders and a streaming unit whose customers include the WWE.
  • The organization reports a $625 million net loss on $3.5 billion in revenue for 2020, when entertainment was hampered by the pandemic. It also lost money in 2019 on higher revenue, but it was profitable in 2018.

Of note: Endeavor also disclosed in its IPO filing the company plans to add Elon Musk to its board of directors.

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