On the eve of the Wrestlemania 39 finale, reports are coming out that the WWE may be sold to the UFC’s parent company Endeavor.
Endeavor bought the UFC for $4 billion in 2016 and spent an addition $1.6 billion in 2021 to buy out investment firms Silver Lake and KKR and hold complete control of the fight promotion.
Now CNBC reports that advanced talks between WWE and Endeavor could lead to a deal announcement as soon as Monday. As part of the agreement, UFC and WWE would form a new publicly traded company controlled 51 percent by Endeavor and 49 percent by WWE shareholders.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel would be chief executive of this new entity, while longtime WWE head Vince McMahon would be executive chairman. Dana White will remain president of the UFC, while Nick Khan will remain president of WWE.
Interestingly enough, CNBC notes that Endeavor could be a good cultural fit for the WWE, noting that Vince McMahon and Dana White are both controversial leaders who have recently come under fire for bad behavior. McMahon was briefly ousted from his leadership role at WWE after it was revealed that he had allegedly spent millions of company money paying hush money to women over ‘sexual misconduct.’
White, as we noted back in January, recently survived his own career-killer moment when he was caught on camera slapping his wife during a New Year’s Eve party in Cabo.
While you never really know for sure what’s true and what’s false when pro wrestling is involved, CNBC is part of NBC Universal, as is Peacock, the company that streams WWE content. So while we’d still say there’s no deal until there is a deal, this certainly looks like a deal that’s coming together.
What do you think of UFC and WWE both under the same corporate roof, Maniacs? Anyone have that on your crazy combat sports bingo card for 2023?