World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Endeavor Group Holdings (EDR), the operator of UFC combat sports, said they'll merge, forming a $21 billion dollar global live sports and entertainment behemoth.
The companies noted Endeavor shareholders will have 51% controlling interest in the new firm, while WWE investors will hold 49%. The transaction values UFC at $12.1 billion and WWE at $9.3 billion, and lists their combined 2022 revenue at $2.4 billion.
Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel will lead both Endeavor and the new company, which will be named at a later date. WWE executive chair Vince McMahon will be executive chair.
The agreement provides "a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed," Emanuel said.
McMahon ran WWE from 1982 until last July, but returned in January to facilitate a deal. McMahon said joining forces with UFC is "without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders."
Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment fell 5% on the news, while those of Endeavor Group Holdings tumbled 7%.