The merger combining the UFC and WWE will operate under a new company name, TKO Group Holdings, with plans to go public on the stock exchange before the end of 2023.
Endeavor, the current parent company to the UFC, made the announcement via CNBC on Tuesday after initially revealing plans for the merged company back in April. The company will operate under the TKO symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.
The new company is expected to be valued at more than $21 billion.
The deal came together after Endeavor acquired a majority share in World Wrestling Entertainment after previously purchasing the UFC back in 2016. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will serve as CEO over TKO Group Holdings as well, with WWE’s controlling shareholder Vince McMahon serving as executive chairman.
As part of the new company arrangement, Endeavor will own a 51 percent stake with WWE shareholders controlling the other 49 percent.
Emanuel previously confirmed that Dana White will remain president over the UFC while Nick Khan will remains president at WWE. It’s not expected that this new company formation will affect any business dealings at UFC or WWE, but rather will allow the two organizations to combine forces when it comes to promotion, advertising, and sponsorships.
TKO Group Holdings will also see lucrative broadcast rights deals coming up soon for both the UFC and WWE, which could lead to an even bigger valuation for the company in the coming years.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pure-play built for where the industry is headed,” Emanuel said in April. “For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”
While releasing first quarter results for Endeavor on May 9, executives stated that the deal for the merger between UFC and WWE should hopefully be finalized in the second half of 2023, assuming all regulatory hurdles are cleared.
From there, Endeavor will fully spinoff TKO Group Holdings, with plans to take the company public on the stock exchange.