WWE, UFC Merging to Form New Company
WWE has officially been sold to Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc., the parent company of UFC. Once the sale closes, WWE and UFC will merge into a new, publicly listed company.
The news of the sale of WWE has long been in the works. Per a press release announcing the news, the new company will have Endeavor owning 51% controlling interest. The remaining 49% will be held by existing WWE shareholders. Altogether, the new live sports and entertainment company has a value of over $21 billion.
As for the leadership structure of this new company, the press release notes, “The new company will be led by [Ariel] Emanuel (Chief Executive Officer), who will also continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, [Vince] McMahon (Executive Chairman of the Board of WWE) and Mark Shapiro, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavor and the new company. Dana White will continue in his role as President of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as President of WWE. The Board of Directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five of whom by WWE.”
News of the merger comes less than 24 hours after the end of WrestleMania 39, which took place April 1 and 2 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. WWE said in a press release this was “the most successful and highest-grossing event in company history.” The sport entertainment giant reports the gate for WrestleMania 39 at $21.6 million. 161,892 fans filled SoFi Stadium over the course of two nights.
The press release also noted, “WrestleMania 39 became the most social WrestleMania of all-time, with over 500 million views and 11 million hours of video consumed over the two days, a 42 percent increase over last year.”