UFC Parent Company Endeavor Files to Go Public

By Jay Pettry May 23, 2019

A new era in the sport could soon be upon us, as parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Endeavor, has filed the paperwork to go public.

First reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, the media company that encompasses the likes of the WME talent agency, the UFC as well as the Miss Universe beauty pageant is preparing to officially go public by filing their S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol of EDR.

On its statement, the company declared it generated $3.61 billion in revenue in 2018 with a net income of $231.3 million. It also claimed it employed around 7,000 employees in over 20 countries, while also stating that from 2015 to 2018, revenue for the company has grown at an annual compounded rate at 27.1 percent.

In the filing, Endeavor warned of multiple risks from going public, including its "substantial indebtedness," uncertain future demand in the company's services and the potential for strained relationships between networks or other entities as a result of this development. There were also questions about the results from legal proceedings against companies owned by Endeavor, including the UFC. The filing noted that the UFC is currently involved in five class-action lawsuits which could adversely affect their interests depending on the ruling.

Endeavor purchased the UFC from Zuffa LLC in 2016 for around $4 billion. Also related to the UFC, the company expressed concerns about the public offering if live events are not successful, or of their content distribution platforms are not managed properly. At the beginning of this year, the UFC entered into an exclusive pay-per-view arrangement with ESPN, where all of its PPV events would be held solely on ESPN+.

For more on the potential implications of this IPO, read this piece for more information.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel included a letter in the filing, where he announced his intentions for the future:

"As a public company, we'll continue:
- Navigating the ever-evolving definition of content
- Cultivating an environment that encourages connections across the platform and a forward-thinking approach to decision-making
- Aggressively advocating on behalf of those who've placed their trust in us
- Embracing diversity, inclusion and equality across our platform -- content, clients and employees
- Defining success based on long-term growth and innovation, not short-term gains."


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