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WWE near deal to be sold to UFC parent Endeavor, sources say

WWE Near Being Sold

World Wrestling Entertainment is in advanced talks to be sold to Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Group, the parent company of UFC, according to people familiar with the matter.


A deal could be announced as soon as this 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.



Endeavor is slated to own 51% of the new combat sports and entertainment company, while WWE shareholders would get 49%, according to people. The Endeavor deal gives WWE an enterprise value of $9.3 billion.


Ari Emanuel is expected to act as chief executive of both Endeavor and the new company. Vince 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 biggest live event, WrestleMania, in California. The company has spent the past several months looking for a buyer. Vince 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 deal will effectively end WWE’s decades-old status as a family-run business. Vince McMahon’s father founded WWE in its original incarnation during the middle of the 20th century, and Vince McMahon is the controlling shareholder in the company. Vince McMahon bought the company from his father in 1982. Since then, the company has grown into a global phenomenon, with stars such as Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dave Bautista and John Cena.


Vince McMahon, 77, retired from the company in July following a string of revelations that he paid several women millions of dollars over the years to keep them quiet about alleged affairs and misconduct. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, became co-CEO alongside Nick Khan. Paul Levesque, who’s both Stephanie McMahon’s husband and the wrestler known as Triple H, took over creative duties from Vince McMahon.


When Vince McMahon came back in January, Stephanie McMahon stepped down and Nick Khan fully assumed the CEO role. The elder McMahon recently locked in a two-year employment contract, according to a securities filing.



Nick Khan in recent weeks has been making the media rounds to discuss the potential sale. He told CNBC’s Morgan Brennan on Thursday that it’s been a robust sale process, drawing many interested buyers.


WWE brings with it a robust media and live events business, along with its decade's worth of intellectual property. The company generated $1.29 billion in revenue last year, driven mainly by its $1 billion media unit.

UFC has paid off for Endeavor. Last year, the MMA league helped Endeavor’s sports business make $1.3 billion in revenue. Endeavor’s market cap stood at about $10.53 billion as of Friday’s close. The Endeavor-WWE deal values UFC at more than $12 billion.


WWE, at least at a glance, would also fit well with the cultures at Endeavor and UFC. Vince McMahon has a brash public persona, making him a good match for Ari Emanuel and Dana White, who are also known for their outsized personalities.



Dana White, like Vince McMahon, is no stranger to scandal, either. Earlier this year, a video emerged showing the UFC boss slapping his wife during a public argument at a New Year’s Eve party in Mexico. White apologized.


I honestly don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. As it might be a good thing in certain ways but bad in other ways. I think it will affect the company in different ways of how things are done or run.


Let us know what u think?

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