UFC parent Endeavor Group Holdings has announced that it is merging with WWE “to form a $21+ billion global live sports and entertainment company” that will be publicly listed later this year. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) are the world’s premier mixed martial arts and professional wrestling promotions respectively. Both brands have engaged in marketing rivalry and athletes have been crossing over between the two promotions for years. Now, UFC parent Endeavor is seeking to merge the two in a massive transaction that will leave it with a 51% controlling interest in the new company, while existing WWE shareholders will hold the remaining 49% afterwards. Notably, WWE boss Vince McMahon will carry over his WWE Executive Chairman role to the new company, and the UFC’s iconic head Dana White will continue in his role as UFC President.
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. The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands. I, along with the current WWE management team, look forward to working closely with Ari [Emanuel, CEO Endeavor] and the Endeavor and UFC teams to take the businesses to the next level.
No announcements have been made regarding the future of the two promotions’ video game properties, which are developed by fierce competitors EA (EA Sports UFC) and 2K Games (WWE 2K). Stay tuned here at MP1st for all updates and announcements concerning both franchises as the merger closes later this year.