Here's everything you need to know about the UFC and WWE merging.
The UFC's parent company, Endeavor, has announced today that they've signed agreements to purchase the WWE and merge it with the UFC to form a > $21 billion company. The deal values the UFC at $12.1 billion and WWE at $9.3 billion. Together, the two companies made $2.4 billion last year.
Let's examine a few things we've been told and break down what it means for the fans of UFC and WWE.
Endeavor revealed that UFC and WWE would share "omnichannel distribution," meaning that the distribution of the two products, MMA and Pro Wrestling, along with others, will be shared on the same channels. - Where you can watch WWE, you should also find UFC, and vice versa.
"Enhanced sponsorship monetization" is another predicted change that will occur with the UFC and WWE merging. This means that potential new sponsors and existing sponsors such as Monster Energy, PRIME, and others will receive more coverage. - You'll see more brand names plastered on the sports.
-Further note: It has yet to be revealed what the collaborative terms are between the UFC athletes and WWE athletes, if any.
Endeavor will own 51% of the new company, and existing WWE shareholders will own 49%.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanual will be the CEO of the new company, and Endeavor COO Mark Shapiro will also be the COO of the new company. Both men will hold positions in Endeavor and the new company simultaneously.
Vince McMahon will be the Executive Chairman of the Board. Dana White will continue his role as UFC president, and Nick Khan will be the president of WWE. There will be a board of directors consisting of 11 members, 6 of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and 5 of whom will be appointed by WWE.
Let's look at what we know and summarize it at the end.
"The forward-looking statements in this communication are only predictions. Endeavor and WWE management have based these forward-looking statements largely on their current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that management believes may affect its business, financial condition, and results of operations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from what is expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: the transaction will not be consummated; there may be difficulties with the integration and in realizing the expected benefits of the transaction; Endeavor and WWE may need to use resources that are needed in other parts of its business to do so; there may be liabilities that are not known, probable or estimable at this time; the transaction may result in the diversion of management's time and attention to issues relating to the transaction and integration; expected synergies and operating efficiencies attributable to the transaction may not be achieved within its expected time-frames or at all; there may be significant transaction costs and integration costs in connection with the transaction; the possibility that neither WWE nor Endeavor will have sufficient cash at close to distribute to shareholders (or that the amount of cash available for distribution will be less than what the parties expect); unfavorable outcome of legal proceedings that may be instituted against WWE and Endeavor following the announcement of the transaction; and risks inherent to the business may result in additional strategic and operational risks, which may impact Endeavor's, NewCo's and WWE's risk profiles, which each company may not be able to mitigate effectively. In addition, a number of important factors could cause Endeavor's or NewCo's actual future results and other future circumstances to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those important factors discussed in Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors" in Endeavor's or WWE's respective Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, as any such factors may be updated from time to time in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), accessible on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov, Endeavor's investor relations site at investor.endeavorco.com and WWE's investor relations site at https://corporate.wwe.com/. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and, except as may be required under applicable law, neither Endeavor nor WWE undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise." - **Statement released by Endeavor.
Summary: Endeavor has signed the deal, but a lot could go wrong and/or invalidate the terms of the agreement and cause a bust. Endeavor has signed contracts on their end, but it could be a very long time before the actual fruits of this begin to show.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the foremost leader of the Mixed Martial Arts entertainment industry. Since 1993, they've sold out arenas and have grown into one of the largest sports entertainment companies in the world. A few of their most notable stars and champions include Conor Mcgregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Jon Jones. The most recent Pay-Per-View on their fight schedule was UFC 286, which saw Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards defend his belt against the former divisional king, Kamaru Usman.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has lived alongside the UFC as another of the largest collection of athletes in sports today. Their most recent event was Wrestlemania, headlined by Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes. Stars like Snoop Dogg, KSI, and their own Logan Paul were part of the event.
This new deal won't be the first time the two companies have collaborated. Brock Lesnar famously became a champion in both organizations, rising to a new level of stardom. Others, such as CM Punk, Cain Velasquez, Jorge Masvidal, and Daniel Cormier, have all been a part of both WWE and UFC.