Endeavor, the international entertainment and sports giant, has announced the new publicly listed company that will merge the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts series will be called TKO Group Holdings.
The entity will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker TKO. The name is a reference to the professional fighting term 'technical knockout'.
Endeavor chief executive Ari Emanuel will also lead TKO Group, while Vince McMahon, WWE’s controlling shareholder and long-time boss, will be executive chairman of the new company. Mark Shapiro will serve as president and chief operating officer, currently holding both roles at Endeavor.
In total, there will be six Endeavor appointees on the new firm’s board and five from WWE.
Nick Khan, the current chief executive at WWE, will serve as president of the wrestling business, meanwhile.
Through the arrangement, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the joint venture and existing WWE shareholders will hold the remaining 49% stake.
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The deal is expected to close in the second half of the year. UFC and WWE will retain their respective names as part of TKO Group.
Endeavor announced a deal to acquire WWE last month (April) and unveiled plans to form a combined company with UFC, which it hopes will create a sports entertainment heavyweight with a value of $21.4 billion.
UFC – which Endeavor completed the purchase of in 2021 – and WWE will both make cash contributions to the new company to see it hold around $150 million.
The entertainment and sports powerhouse has said that together, UFC and WWE expect to “deliver an estimated $50 million to $100 million” in annual run rate cost synergies.
Endeavor – which also has the IMG sports agency and the WME talent representation business in its portfolio – generated $5.3 billion in revenue last year.
The firm, which also has investments in sectors as diverse as fashion shows and professional bull riding, currently has a market value of $11.3 billion.
Endeavor recently posted revenue of $1.6 billion for the first quarter of the year largely due to a strong performance within its sports division.
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