Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Silver Lake takeover could break up Endeavor

Jan 19, 2024

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel. Photo: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ari Emanuel is likely to see his business empire shrink should Endeavor Group be taken private by Silver Lake Partners, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: A successful takeover by SLP could mean open season for Hollywood agency M&A if Endeavor assets like IMG are placed on the auction block.

Driving the news: SLP, which has been weighing a take-private offer since last fall, is expected to deliver its bid to Endeavor's board in the next few weeks, per Bloomberg.

  • As part of the plan, Bloomberg reports, SLP would move to sell off parts of Endeavor once the deal has closed.
  • These parts include marketing and fashion firm IMG, a sports-betting platform OpenBet, the Professional Bull Riders league and New York Fashion Week. Endeavor also holds a 51% stake in the newly formed TKO Group, which holds UFC and WWE.
  • Talent agency WME is not expected to be sold, Bloomberg added. The company has previously said its TKO stake is not for sale, either.

Of note: Silver Lake is Endeavor's largest shareholder, owning 71% of the company. Its co-CEO Egon Durban and managing director Stephen Evans sit on Endeavor's board.

Catch up quick: Endeavor said in late October it would explore strategic alternatives, the result of budding frustration from Emanuel over their languishing stock price.

  • Less than two hours after that announcement, Silver Lake said it was weighing an offer.
  • Last spring, Endeavor offloaded IMG Academy to EQT for $1.25 billion in cash.
Go deeper