WWE and UFC have reached a mutual agreement for a merger under Endeavor Group. The news, which was officially confirmed in April of this year, initially indicated the merger to be scheduled for later in the year.
However, given the industry’s rapid growth in WWE, delaying the inevitable was deemed unnecessary. As a result, the takeover has now been officially completed. Vince McMahon, the former WWE CEO, will assume his role as an Executive Chairman at TKO Group Holdings, alongside 10 other members.
WWE and UFC have officially merged to form TKO Group pic.twitter.com/L6tOb645ju
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) September 12, 2023
The merger will give rise to a newly publicly listed company known as TKO Group Holdings. The board of directors for TKO Group will consist of five members from WWE and six members from UFC. In addition to WWE’s CEO Nick Khan, Steven Koonin, and Carrie Wheeler, an undisclosed WWE representative will be included.
UFC will see Endeavor’s CEO Ari Emanuel joined by Egon Durban, Jonathan Kraft, Sonya Medina Williams, Mark Shapiro, and Nancy Tellem as their representatives on the board. Moreover, Dana White is promoted as CEO of UFC
TKO. The home of WWE and UFC
— Fightful Wrestling (@Fightful) September 12, 2023
Endeavor, the owner of the UFC, will possess a 51% stake in TKO Group, while WWE will own 49%. The deal carries a valuation exceeding $21 billion, with the UFC accounting for $12 billion and WWE holding $9 billion in their respective stakes.
Ari emphasized that this merger represents a unique opportunity to establish a global live sports and entertainment pureplay.
This marks the WWE’s first leadership change since its founding. Vince McMahon Sr. launched the family business in the 1960s, later succeeded by Vince McMahon, who brought it to mainstream success over four decades. Today, the creative department is overseen by his son-in-law, Triple H, who has earned well-deserved praise for his role.
Endeavor’s history: a tale of multiple company takeovers
The merger between WWE and UFC under Endeavor, UFC’s parent company, has reached its conclusion. This union has given birth to a new entity named TKO Group Holdings, now overseeing the sports entertainment giants.
— Turnbuckle Times (@TimesTurnbuckle) September 12, 2023
Taking a closer look at Endeavor’s history reveals its extensive global business Endeavor. Endeavor initially established itself as a dominant talent and media agency, reigning over Hollywood for decades.
Their successful collaborations with icons like Dwayne Johnson and Martin Scorsese paved the way for their acquisition of rival IMG in 2013. In a strategic move, Endeavor acquired the Miss Universe Organization from Donald Trump in 2015.
— WWE (@WWE) September 12, 2023
Then, in 2016, Endeavor took control of Zuffa, the parent company of UFC at the time. Fast forward to 2023, Endeavor has orchestrated the merger of WWE with UFC, giving rise to TKO Group Holdings. Endeavor’s consistent success is evident in its expansion within the entertainment and sports sectors.