It seems that the UFC and the WWE are joining forces, in a way.
There has been a huge merger of sorts in the world of combat sports. The parent company of the UFC, Endeavor has made a move to purchase the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) by obtaining a majority stake and taking 51 percent control of the company. Endeavor now holds the rights to two of the biggest combat sports franchises in the world.
The plan for these companies is to combine their assets of them and form one publicly traded company. Each will remain its own entity and will continue to be run by the same people as before the purchase, Dana White for the UFC and Nick Khan for the WWE.
According to a report by CNBC, Ari Emanuel, the CEO at Endeavor, will become the executive chairman of the combined company. Mark Shapiro will be named eth president and chief operating officer of the new company.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” Emanuel said in a press release. “For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”
Today, @Endeavor announced it has signed an agreement to form a $21+ billion global live sports and entertainment company made up of @UFC and @WWE. https://t.co/lPrkBmKJXm pic.twitter.com/ZBk95c5exU
— Endeavor (@Endeavor) April 3, 2023
Stars from the UFC and WWE react to the news of the purchase
Some of the biggest stars and media from around the sports world took to Twitter to express their congratulations to the UFC, Endeavor, and the WWE on this historic move.
Congrats to the @ufc now worth a cool Proper $12bn. Wow! Endeavor bout to scoop the @WWE now also. Incredible. What a powerhouse!
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 2, 2023
UFC + WWE makes too much sense. Great path to increasing fighter pay.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) April 2, 2023
"The transaction values UFC at an enterprise value of $12.1 billion and WWE at an enterprise value of $9.3 billion. The transaction represents a contribution price of WWE of approximately $106 per share (before any post-closing dividend)."
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) April 3, 2023
Spoke to WWE CEO Nick Khan this a.m. No new yet for the new combined company that owns UFC and WWE, but the stock ticker will be TKO. Combined company has a valuation of $21 billion.
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) April 3, 2023
Now that the @ufc is worth $12 Billion, I’ve got my eyes set on a new target #StayVicious #Endeavour @WWE pic.twitter.com/9gjkpME6BT
— Jasmine Jasudavicius (@JasJasudavicius) April 2, 2023
BREAKING: Endeavor is finalizing a deal to buy WWE, according to @sherman4949.
Endeavor will then combine WWE and the UFC into one publicly traded company.
Shares of WWE are up 33% this year, and the deal gives WWE an enterprise value of more than $9 billion. pic.twitter.com/kjSt3v9qtf
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) April 2, 2023
The news is still fresh, but there is no doubt that athletes from both companies will continue to voice their opinions on this partnership. In the acquisition, the UFC was set at a value of 12 billion dollars. This tidbit alone will probably add to the ongoing debate about fighter pay.