In a bombshell report that is set to shake the world of sports entertainment, CNBC has reported that WWE, currently owned by Vince McMahon, is in talks to be sold to the parent company of UFC.
“A deal could be announced as soon as Monday. UFC and WWE are expected to form a new publicly traded company as part of the agreement, according to the people, who declined to be named due to the confidential nature of the discussions,” writes CNBC.
“Endeavor is slated to own 51% of the new combat sports and entertainment company, while WWE shareholders would get 49%, according to the people. The Endeavor deal gives WWE an enterprise value of $9.3 billion, they said.
Ari Emanuel is expected to act as chief executive of both Endeavor and the new company. McMahon, likewise, is expected to be executive chairman, while Endeavor President Mark Shapiro will also work in the same role at the new company. Dana White will remain as president of UFC, while WWE CEO Nick Khan will serve as president of the wrestling business.
The development comes during the same weekend WWE hosts its flagship live event, WrestleMania, in California. The company has spent the past several months looking for a buyer. McMahon returned to the company as chairman in January to oversee the process. Shares of WWE are up more than 33% so far this year, giving it a market value of more than $6.79 billion.”
The company is expected to be a separate spinoff of Endeavor and will form a separate publicly traded entity.
“Vince McMahon, the majority owner and former chief executive of WWE who retired last year amid a misconduct probe, returned to the company in January to pursue a sale,” The Wall Street Journalnoted.
“Days later, WWE’s board of directors unanimously elected Mr. McMahon as executive chairman. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, also resigned as chairwoman and co-CEO, leaving Nick Khan, who had been the other co-CEO, as the sole chief executive.
The Endeavor deal gives WWE an enterprise value of $9.3 billion, and UFC an enterprise value of $12.1 billion, the people said.
Ari Emanuel, chief executive officer of Endeavor, is set to serve as CEO of the new public company in addition to his current role, the people said. Mr. McMahon will be executive chairman of the new company, they said.”