Endeavor — the parent company to the UFC — will launch its IPO (initial public offering) on Friday, Sept. 27.
The conglomerate that owns a controlling interest in the UFC as well as a powerhouse Hollywood Agency, Professional Bull Riders and a host of other companies will be traded under the symbol ‘EDR’ on the New York Stock Exchange.
In a 30-minute video released by the company to entice potential investors, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell gave a history lesson about the company while laying out an ambitious plan for the future.
Endeavor priced the shares at $30 to $32 with more than 19 million Class A shares being offered up as part of the IPO. Emanuel and Whitesell along with their financial partners at Silver Lake will maintain voting control regardless of the stock offering, which means they will still make any major decisions regarding the company and its future.
The IPO is expected to raise over $600 million with the bulk of that money going to pay down Endeavor’s considerable debt with the rest then being used for operating capital as well as potential funds for future purchases to add onto the company.
The offering values Endeavor at approximately $8 billion.
According to a new filing from Endeavor at the Securities Exchange Commission, the company brought in just over $2 billion in revenue for the first half of 2019, which was up from $1.5 billion for the same time last year.
Emanuel, who served as the basis for the character Ari Gold on the HBO series “Entourage”, also sent a warning to potential competitors in the fields such as sports, entertainment and representation where Endeavor thrives.
“[We have] a bird’s eye view on a global basis to know what’s out there,” Emanuel stated in the video. ”I’m way out in front of you by miles and miles.”
There are some Wall Street speculators who have cast doubt on Endeavor’s long term prospects because of the volatile nature of many of their businesses including their Hollywood agency, which remains at odds with the Writers Guild of America, not to mention the UFC due to the ebb and flow of superstars competing in mixed martial arts, which is a major factor in driving viewers to the product.
The good news is the UFC helped bolster Endeavor’s bottom line by inking a multi-year deal with ESPN that now includes pay-per-view broadcasts as well, which served as a massive financial windfall for the company before going public.