Endeavor talent and media agency is roughly $4.6 billion in debt, which is to be expected considering it paid over $4 billion for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s premiere mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, back in 2016.
I’m sure owners Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell were hoping to pay down some of that debt with an initial public offering (IPO) late last year; however, the market did not share their optimism when it came time to go public and Endeavor suffered a “damaged reputation.”
To make matters worse, the world was shut down last month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which means the bulk of the talent and media that keep the cash flowing at Endeavor are not being utilized and ultimately, not making any money.
Which is why UFC was pushing so hard to get back into action.
“The long-term prospects for Endeavor remain unchanged, but like other companies, we are taking a variety of actions to mitigate the impact of this pandemic,” an Endeavor spokesperson told Variety. “Since late March, we have been rolling out cost-saving measures in phases across our companies and geographies and intend to complete most of this process in late May. Approximately a third of our population will be impacted by reduced pay for reduced work, furlough, or position elimination, with the majority affected by reduced work and furlough.”
Endeavor is home to approximately 7,500 employees.
UFC is not expected to be impacted by the latest cost-cutting measures but there’s no question this turn of events has long-term implications for the combat sports promotion, particularly if the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep the world shut down and Endeavor is unable to recover from its latest setback.