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WWE and UFC Announce Merger to Create a New Company

On Monday, WWE and UFC announced their plans to merge and create a new publicly traded company that will be run by Endeavor Group. According to the agreement, Endeavor will hold a 51% stake in the new company while WWE shareholders will own 49%. The new combat sports and entertainment company will be valued at $21.4 billion, with WWE valued at $9.3 billion and UFC at $12.1 billion. The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2023.

Ari Emanuel will act as the CEO of Endeavor and the new company, while Vince McMahon will be the executive chairman. Mark Shapiro will hold the same roles at the new company as he currently does at Endeavor. Dana White will remain as the president of UFC, and WWE CEO Nick Khan will stay on as president of the wrestling business.

The deal will pair two of the world's biggest sports entertainment brands, which share similarities in terms of content and culture. Several UFC fighters have already wrestled for WWE, and both companies have generated significant revenue from media rights deals for traditional TV and streaming. The combined company may also explore new direct-to-consumer opportunities.

The announcement confirmed an earlier CNBC report and came a day after WWE wrapped up its flagship live event, WrestleMania, in California. Vince McMahon's return to WWE in January as chairman oversaw the process of looking for a buyer. WWE has a market valuation of about $6.5 billion, while Endeavor has a market cap of about $10 billion.

The new company's board will consist of 11 people, with six appointed by Endeavor and five by WWE. The company's name will be announced at a later time, and it will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TKO.

The merger will create a robust combat sports and entertainment company that reflects the hard-edged style of its leaders and fits well with the cultures of Endeavor and UFC. The new company will undoubtedly change the face of combat sports and entertainment, and fans are eager to see what the future holds.

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