WWE & UFC Join Forces In Historic $31 Billion Merger
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and UFC’s parent company, Endeavor, have today announced the merger of the two iconic sporting brands in a new US $21 billion (AUD $31 billion) deal set to change the combat sporting and entertainment scene.
Endeavor has acquired the majority 51% stake in WWE, with the remaining 49% interest retained by existing WWE shareholders.
WWE’s current operator, Vince McMahon, plans to remain in the professional wrestling company, and will focus on maximising shared media rights of the new combined company under current Endeavor chief executive, Ari Emanuel.
The new publicly listed company will be traded under a new name with the existing TKO symbol, with the pair aiming to expand its global reach, media scale, and omnichannel distribution.
The UFC/WWE merger is positioned to maximise the value of combined media rights, sponsorship monetisation, and the development of other strategic mergers to bolster its portfolio of brands.
In the 2022 fiscal year alone, the combat sporting giants achieved a combined revenue of US $2.4 billion (AUD $3.54 billion), with a 10% annual revenue growth rate since 2019.
Commenting on the historic deal, Endeavor CEO, Ariel Emanuel, said: “This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed.”
“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,” he said.
WWE executive chairman, Vincent McMahon, shared Emanuel’s sentiment in celebrating the powerhouse venture, adding: “Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders.”
“Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity,” he said.
The pair are expecting to deliver an estimated US $50-100 million in annualised run rate cost synergies by leveraging Endeavor’s existing back office and infrastructure, as the WWE/UFC plans to capitalise on the new company’s advantageous and unique position in the entertainment ecosystem.
This announcement comes after the UFC extended its digital partnership with TikTok to continue delivering exclusive live-stream content to fans.