Endeavor could go private as it explores strategic alternatives

on Oct26
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Ari Emanuel breaks down new merger between WWE and UFC, named TKO

Endeavor Group Holdings, the talent agency and sports company run by Ari Emanuel, said Wednesday it would explore strategic alternatives, which could mean a possible sale or potentially going private again after two and a half years on public markets.

Indeed, soon after Endeavor’s announcement, major shareholder Silver Lake said it is considering taking the company private. Such a move would be a swift turnaround for Endeavor, whose shares went public in April 2021 after some hiccups.

“Silver Lake firmly believes in Endeavor’s business and is not interested in selling its shares in Endeavor to a third-party nor in entertaining bids for assets that are a part of Endeavor,” Silver Lake said in a news release, noting that it owns about 71% of the voting power for Endeavor.

Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban and Managing Director Stephen Evans are members of Endeavor’s board of directors.

Endeavor’s stock jumped more than 24% in after-hours trading.

“Given the continued dislocation between Endeavor’s public market value and the intrinsic value of Endeavor’s underlying assets, we believe an evaluation of strategic alternatives is a prudent approach to ensure we are maximizing value for our shareholders,” Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, said in a news release.

The move comes weeks after French billionaire Francois-Henry Pinault agreed to buy a majority stake in Endeavor rival Creative Artists Agency. The deal was reportedly worth $7 billion.

Endeavor’s market value, likewise, was $7.79 billion as of Wednesday’s market close, having declined 21% so far this year.

Notably, Endeavor said it wouldn’t consider unloading its interest in TKO Group Holdings, the newly formed combat sports company that includes Vince McMahon’s WWE and Dana White’s UFC. Endeavor owns 51% of TKO, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last month.

–CNBC’s Alex Sherman contributed to this report.



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