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Rumors have been swirling for months about plans to sell the WWE. The world’s premiere pro-wrestling organization appeared to be on slightly rocky ground last summer, after longtime owner and CEO Vince McMahon was forced to step down from the company following sexual misconduct allegations.
However, McMahon swept back into his seat of power, earlier this year, after orchestrating a takeover of the WWE board of directors. Back at the helm of the sports-entertainment powerhouse, McMahon has been courting options for a new ownership partner. While the Saudi government & royal family had appeared to be front-runners, it now seems that a deal with UFC parent company Endeavor Group Holdings have emerged as the most likely new owners.
What’s the WWE worth?
That’s according to a report from CNBC, who note that Endeavor appears poised to take on a 51% ownership stake in the WWE, with a “enterprise value” of $9.3 billion on the pro-wrestling organization. The promotion’s “market value” currently sits at $6.79 billion, following what has, so far, been an exceptionally profitable 2023. The expectation is that a deal between the two companies will be announced this coming week, possibly as soon as Monday.
Endeavor purchased the UFC from the Fertitta brothers along with their Zuffa LLC company back in 2016, for a price of $4.25 billion dollars. As part of the likely upcoming WWE purchase, Endeavor has reportedly set the value of the UFC in 2023 at $12 billion.
Could this mean big changes in WWE management?
The WWE (formerly the WWF) has been a McMahon-owned family business stretching all the way back to the 1950s in one iteration or another. While the sale to Endeavor will likely be the end of that legacy, if the UFC purchase has been anything to go by, it seems unlikely to result in any further big shakeups in the WWE front office.
Since getting bought out by Endeavor in 2016, the UFC still features Dana White as the day-to-day operations manager and face of the promotion, alongside longtime matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. Although the changeover did see the exit of some longterm notable figures, like Joe Silva, Stitch Duran, and Burt Watson.
Whatever the future holds, it seems likely that Endeavor has just gained a functional stranglehold on the sports-entertainment crossover world. With the UFC as the largest combat sports organization on the planet today, and the WWE alongside it, it will likely only get that much more difficult for other promoters and investors to mount significant competition to this corporate giant.
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