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UFC and WWE officially merge under TKO holdings

After its initial announcement in April, the $21 billion merger between UFC and WWE officially concluded on September 12th, 2023, with shares now trading on the New York Stock Exchange. With the closing of the merger, both the UFC and WWE are now under the newly formed TKO Group Holdings.

Endeavor, UFC’s parent company, will own 51% majority of TKO’s shares while WWE shareholders will own the other 49%. Using the combined force of both companies, TKO will serve “more than one billion fans and viewers in 180 countries”. 

Endeavor will use its strengths within TKO to drive revenue growth through its knowledge of domestic and international media rights, ticket sales and yield optimization, event operations, global partnerships, licensing, and premium hospitality.

In the press release, TKO founders Ariel Emanuel and Vince McMahon provided statements detailing their excitement and hopes for the future that this merger will bring.

“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment,” said Emanuel. “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.”

“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights. 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,” said Vince McMahon, Executive Chairman 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.”

Additionally, WWE president Nick Khan and other officials from UFC and WWE gave their own thoughts on the merger in an interview with ESPN, reassuring fans that no “massive changes” are to be expected for their fighters.

“UFC fighters are going to stay focused on the UFC and WWE superstars obviously do something different in our ring,” said Khan. “But you also see in the UFC people with big personalities who, once their UFC run is done, once the UFC and the fighter says, ‘Hey, maybe now’s the time to call it a day,’ could those people have a longer life at WWE, an extended life with TKO? We think so.”

Currently, TKO is standing at a value of $21.4 billion USD. The finalization of the $21 billion merger between UFC and WWE on September 12th, 2023, marks a significant moment in the world of sports and entertainment.


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