Global sports and entertainment agency Endeavor’s acquisition of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) last September helped full-year revenues rise 13% to $5.96 billion, while its fourth quarter 2023 revenue grew 25% year-over-year (YoY).

The company announced its fourth-quarter revenue had risen from $1.26 billion to $1.58 billion YoY, but that its bottom line was hit by $29 million in legal and restructuring costs and $47 million in write-offs from its Events, Experiences, and Rights division that houses its On Location hospitality business and other event properties.

The company did not detail what the write-off expenses were for.

Of the $29 million, $20 million was used to settle an antitrust case filed against WWE by Major League Wrestling Media, which alleged WWE interfered with MLW’s contract with media platforms and engaged in anticompetitive business practices. The case was eventually dismissed at the end of 2023.

Endeavor also paid out $101 million in advisory fees and bonuses related to the WWE merger with Endeavor’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) promotion to create TKO Group, as well as the sale of its IMG Academy subsidiary to BPEA EQT, a division of private equity group EQT, last June.

Endeavor’s Owned Sports Properties division, which includes TKO Group, posted a YoY quarterly revenue increase of 113% to $642.8 million and a 36% full-year increase to $182 billion. Of that figure, WWE contributed $383 million in revenues. TKO Group announced its own fourth quarter and full-year results yesterday. 

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Revenue for Endeavor's Events, Experiences, and Rights division fell 8% for the fourth quarter to $414.5 million and 1% for the full year to $2.17 billion. The figure comes on the back of selling IMG Academy and was partially offset by increases in ticket sales and partnerships from events including tennis’ Miami Open and Madrid Open.

Media production income also increased on the back of new contracts, including with North American soccer’s top-tier MLS.

The Representation division, which houses its WME and IMG agencies, and the 160over90 branding agency, recorded a 5% increase YoY to $427.4 million and a 2% rise to $1.54 billion for the year, meanwhile. That figure was impacted by the actor and writer's strike that stretched from May to November.

Its Sports Data and Technology segment, which comprises the company’s betting arms, saw a 5% quarterly increase YoY to $113.6 million and an 80% rise to $469.8 million for the year. The numbers reflect the addition of OpenBet, which the company acquired in 2022, as well as growth in IMG Arena’s betting and streaming portfolio.

Endeavor chief executive Ari Emanuel has said: “2023 was a transformational year for Endeavor as we strengthened our positions in sports and entertainment through many of our industry-leading assets.

“Endeavor’s work with TKO to secure innovative media rights deals and landmark partnership agreements is proving our thesis, and we continue to benefit from demand for premium content and live experiences.

“We remain focused on maximizing shareholder value through quarterly dividend payments and our evaluation of strategic alternatives.”

The latest results come as Endeavor’s majority owner Silver Lake, which holds around 71% of the company’s voting power, looks to take the company private, with the private equity firm reportedly set to make a bid in the coming weeks.

It also comes as Endeavor continues its review of “strategic alternatives” for the company. At the time of the announcement, the company said while it was considering its options, there would be no sale – full or partial – of its majority interest in TKO Group Holdings, in which it holds a 51% controlling stake.

Silver Lake has also said it is not interested in either selling its shares to a third party or in receiving bids for any part of Endeavor's assets. The pair have been partners since 2012.

In terms of the strategic review, Endeavor has said there is no definitive timetable or deadline for the process, and that “there can be no assurance that this process will result in any particular outcome.”

Silver Lake, meanwhile, holds stakes in the City Football Group soccer club ownership structure, sports merchandise firm Fanatics, and New Zealand Rugby.