Reports: Endeavor finalizes agreement to own UFC in full
Endeavor, the talent agency that owns 50.1 percent of the UFC, has agreed to buy the remaining nearly half of the company.
According to multiple reports from an initial public offering filing Wednesday, the talent agency run by Ari Emanuel soon will own 100 percent of the UFC. Proceeds from its IPO are expected to help finance Endeavor’s buyout of the other current owners of the promotion. Much of the other 49.9 percent is owned by the Silver Lake and KKR investment firms.
Endeavor first went down the IPO road in 2019, but ultimately pulled out of the effort. Endeavor reportedly struggled financially in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the one property that kept it flowing the most was the UFC. According to the New York Post, the UFC amounted to 80 percent of Endeavor’s 2020 profits. Before the pandemic, the UFC was bringing in roughly half of Endeavor’s earnings.
In addition, part of Wednesday’s IPO filing said that Tesla CEO Elon Musk will join Endeavor’s board of directors.
The UFC bounced back quicker than most sports during the pandemic and has been holding nearly weekly events for months now at its UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, as well as on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. But next month, it will return to full arenas with UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Fla., followed by UFC 262 in Houston.