Two of the biggest sports entertainment brands in the world, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and UFC, are set to merge. Endeavor the company that owns UFC will be closing an agreement on a deal to buy WWE in the coming days.
According to the terms and conditions, Endeavor will own a 51% stake in the new combat sports and entertainment company, while WWE will have 49%. The deal has valued WWE at $9.3 billion and UFC $12.1 billion. This deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel believes this is a rare opportunity to create global live sports and entertainment replay built for where the industry is headed. He said that Vince and his team, for decades, have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation. “We are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”
Vince McMahon, WWE executive chairman, said together WWE and UFC will be a $21-plus billion live sports entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity. “The new company will be well-positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content, and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands.”
The companies said that UFC and WWE will have a global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution. While the two sports are kind of similar, there are some notable differences. WWE features scripted matches and soap opera-like storylines. UFC has authentically brutal mixed martial arts fighting. And some WWE fighters like Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey have also stepped into UFC arena.