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UFC owners at Endeavor sold to private equity firm, TKO remains publicly traded

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Endeavor, the talent agency that in 2016 purchased the UFC for just over $4 billion, is being acquired by private equity firm Silver Lake to take the company private after going public three years ago.

Under the terms of the deal, Silver Lake, which was already a major shareholder in Endeavor, acquires 100 percent of the outstanding shares available. Current investors will be paid $27.50 per share in cash.

As of Tuesday, Endeavor shares traded at just under $26 per share but the stock rose after news of the sale went public.

Silver Lake is headed by Egon Durban, the co-CEO of the company and current chairman of the board at Endeavor. Silver Lake has been a major investor in Endeavor for more than a decade, and the company also showed support when Endeavor purchased both the UFC and WWE.

Endeavor's equity value - the company's shares and loans that the shareholders have made available to the business - is $13 billion. That doesn't account for TKO Group Holdings, the merged company with the UFC and WWE. Endeavor remains the majority shareholder in TKO, and there are no current plans to take that company private.

The combined value of Endeavor and TKO is estimated at $25 billion.

"Since 2012, Endeavor's strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today," Endeavor and TKO CEO Ari Emanuel said in a press release. "We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor's public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company."

The full transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2025.

It's not expected the sale will affect leadership at Endeavor; Emanuel operates as CEO alongside Patrick Whitesell as executive chairman and Mark Shapiro as president. Shapiro is also president at TKO.

Per the initial statement regarding the sale, "TKO is not party to this transaction and will remain a publicly traded company that will continue to benefit from its connectivity to Endeavor's expertise, relationships, and significant capabilities."

This past October, Emanuel revealed Endeavor was considering strategic alternatives, which hinted at a possible sale to take the company private again.

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