UFC and WWE executives, including Dana White, Vince McMahon, and Ari Emanuel, among others, celebrated their merger under the TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (TKO) banner by ringing the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange, marking the first day for TKO public trading.
“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment,” Emanuel said in a prepared statement. “Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders. With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide.”
Endeavor, parent company of UFC, enters the deal with a 51-percent controlling interest in TKO, with existing WWE shareholders maintaining a 49-percent interest. TKO had $2.43 billion in revenue for 2022 (with UFC representing $1.14 billion of that and WWE accounting for $1.29 billion), according to Variety, and net income of $351.8 million after accounting adjustments.
“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights,” McMahon added. “Given our collaborative, trusted relationship and Endeavor’s incredible track record of success growing UFC, we believe WWE is optimally positioned for future growth and success as part of TKO. Our focus remains on delivering for our fans across the globe as we take the business to the next level alongside UFC and Endeavor.”
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