Private equity investment group Silver Lake has announced that it is taking the sports and entertainment agency Endeavor private, acquiring 100% of the company.

The deal is the “largest” private equity sponsor privatization of any business in the media and entertainment sector ever, with the share acquisition transaction boasting an equity value of $13 billion and a total enterprise value of $25 billion.

Silver Lake is purchasing 100% of the shares in Endeavour (that it doesn’t already own) at $27.50 per share, a 55% premium on the close value of shares from October 25, 2023.

Endeavor is the majority owner of combat sports’ TKO Group, the merged company of mixed martial arts giant UFC and professional wrestling promotion WWE, as well as the heavyweight IMG talent representation and sports marketing agency, the WME sports talent agency, and the Professional Bull Riders circuit.

Ari Emanuel, Endeavor's chief executive, stated in October that Silver Lake was looking to go private, citing the “dislocation” between Endeavor’s public market value and the value of its assets, with Silver Lake stating that it would conduct a formal review that would “evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.”

On the announcement of Silver Lake taking Endeavor private, Emanuel stated: “Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and [Silver Lake managing partner] Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today.

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“We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company.”

Silver Lake’s willingness to take Endeavor private, which has been reported since January, could also potentially lead to Silver Lake selling off parts of Endeavor's businesses once under full control.

News outlet Bloomberg did not identify which parts of Endeavor would be sold off but said WME would not be affected.

Egon Durban, who serves as Endeavor chair and Silver Lake co-chief executive, added of the privatization: “We have built and grown Endeavor from $350 million in annual revenue when we first invested in 2012 to nearly $6 billion in consolidated revenue today. Now, Endeavor can take advantage of its unique core platform to meet the dynamic forces driving growth in content, sports, and live events with bold vision."

Silver Lake first invested in Endeavor in 2012, and the agency went public in 2021. TKO Group, which is also a public company, will not be taken private as part of this transaction, but Silver Lake has denied any prospective sale of TKO and seemingly wishes to maintain control of the business that Endeavor holds 51% of.

Silver Lake also has investments in Madison Square Garden Company, owner of the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers, New Zealand Rugby, and City Football Group, the collective of soccer clubs headed up by English Premier League powerhouse Manchester City.