UFC and WWE are set to merge
The tag team of WWE and UFC is officially happening.
Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, has reached a deal to acquire WWE, both companies confirmed Monday. They have "signed a definitive agreement to form a new, publicly listed company" consisting of both UFC and WWE, the announcement said. Endeavor will hold a 51 percent controlling interest in this new company, while WWE shareholders will hold a 49 percent interest.
"Given the incredible work that [Endeavor CEO] Ari [Emanuel] and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand — nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years — and the immense success we've already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders," WWE executive chair Vince McMahon said.
This comes months after McMahon announced his shock return to WWE in January despite stepping back from the company last year amid sexual misconduct allegations. McMahon was reported to be exploring a sale of WWE, and he said at the time that his return would "allow WWE, as well as any transaction counterparties, to engage in these processes knowing they will have the support of the controlling shareholder." Endeavor was said to be in the mix, though there were also rumors that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund could buy the company.
Upon the completion of this deal, McMahon said "we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity." Emanuel, McMahon, and Mark Shapiro are set to lead the new company, with the latter serving as president and chief operating officer. Dana White will remain UFC president, and Nick Khan will serve as president of WWE.