Endeavor agrees to increase UFC stake to 100%

MMA

Endeavor, the powerhouse Hollywood talent agency, has agreed to own 100% of the UFC, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities Exchange Commission.

Endeavor acquired a majority stake of UFC parent company Zuffa from the Fertitta brothers in July 2016 when it was then known as WME-IMG. Currently, Endeavor owns 50.1% of the UFC, per the SEC filing.

In advance of the company going public via an initial public offering, Endeavor has agreed to buy out private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and KKR for full control of the mixed martial arts promotion. The agreement was reached on Feb. 16, the SEC filing states.

According to the SEC filing, Endeavor has a deal in place to raise at least $1.75 billion to buy out the remainder of the UFC before the IPO. Money raised from the IPO will also go toward the purchase. If that money is not raised and Endeavor does not end up going public, the deal will not be completed.

A spokesperson for the UFC declined comment on the agreed-upon transaction. It’s unclear what Endeavor owning all of the promotion will mean, if anything, for the UFC.

Endeavor planned to go public in 2019 but it pulled back at the last minute, reportedly because of low investor demand.

Also included in the Wednesday filing was the news that business mogul Elon Musk has joined Endeavor’s board of directors. Endeavor reported a $625 million net loss on $3.5 billion revenue for 2020, when many of its businesses were ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Endeavor lost money in 2019, but was profitable in 2018.

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