Sports and entertainment giant Endeavor acquired in $13bn deal

Featured image credit: UFC

WWE, UFC and On Location owner Endeavor is to be acquired by Silver Lake in a deal worth $13bn.

The global sports and entertainment company has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by the global technology investment firm.

Silver Lake said that when consolidating all of TKO’s value – the division that operates UFC and WWE – into Endeavor, the combined total enterprise value of $25bn will make this the largest private equity sponsor public-to-private investment transaction in over a decade, and the largest ever in the media and entertainment sector.

The acquisition comes after Endeavor announced last October that it was commencing a review of strategic alternatives. Silver Lake was already Endeavor’s largest shareholder and will now acquire 100% of the outstanding shares it does not already own.

Endeavor’s senior management team, including Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, are rolling over the equity in the business. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2025.

Growth opportunities for Endeavor

Emanuel, chief executive of Endeavor, said: “Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today. We believe this transaction will maximise 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.”

The transaction builds on multiple investments Silver Lake has made in Endeavor starting with its initial investment in William Morris Endeavor in 2012 and continuing through Endeavor’s subsequent acquisition of IMG in 2014 and initial public offering in 2021. Silver Lake also supported Endeavor’s acquisition of UFC in 2016 and the merger of UFC and WWE, creating TKO Group Holdings in 2023. TKO is not party to this transaction and will remain a publicly traded company that will continue to benefit from its connectivity to Endeavor’s expertise, relationships, and significant capabilities.

Egon Durban, Co-CEO and managing partner of Silver Lake, said: “Our unwavering belief in Ari and Patrick, together with Mark and other talented leaders at Endeavor, has never been stronger. This is a very special partnership. Together, we have built and grown Endeavor from $350m in annual revenue when we first invested in 2012 to nearly $6bn 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. Consistent with our mission and underscored by this commitment being among the largest in Silver Lake’s history, we are all in on working with the Endeavor team and our trusted anchor investors to create value by accelerating growth at scale.”

Endeavor stockholders will receive $27.50 per share in cash, representing a 55% premium to the unaffected share price of $17.72 per share at market close on October 25, 2023, the last full trading day prior to Endeavor’s announcement of its review of strategic alternatives.

On Location, the official hospitality partner of the NFL and Olympic Games, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Endeavor in 2022.

Posted in FinanceTagged | | | |