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Ari Emanuel stands to make huge financial windfall based on UFC’s success following Endeavor IPO

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC’s parent company Endeavor is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) later this year, and CEO Ari Emanuel has a lot of his financial future tied up in the mixed martial arts promotion.

Endeavor is the primary owner of the UFC with 50.1-percent voting stock in the company along with partners Silver Lake Equity owning 22.9-percent and KKR owning 22.9-percent of the company.

As part of the latest filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Emanuel’s yearly salary was bumped from $1 million to $4 million with bonuses reaching a targeted $6 million but the bigger takeaway are the financial incentives he receives based on the company’s success.

A big part of that payoff comes in part from the UFC continuing to grow and expand in hopes of raking in even more profits as the years move forward.

Emanuel stands to make equity awards totaling $12.5 million if the UFC hits certain unspecified financial targets. Emanuel would make $14 million if the UFC goes public on its own and those same financial targets are achieved.

The equity targets change if Endeavor opts to sell part of all of the UFC in the future.

It’s an interesting note that Endeavor is contemplating the possibility of taking the UFC public (through its parent company name Zuffa) on its own. Endeavor is the primary owner of the UFC but the company does have other financial investors as noted by the stakes controlled by Silver Lake Equity and KKR.

While Endeavor has numerous businesses under its umbrella including a vast talent agency and the Miss Universe pageant, the UFC will play a massive part in the success or failure of the company after going public.

Endeavor, along with other investors, paid just over $4 billion to purchase the UFC in 2016, which is by far the most significant investment the company has ever made. Now with Endeavor poised to go public, the UFC’s success is intrinsically tied to the overall success of the business as a whole.