Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White has always been open about his opposition to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) going public. But the privacy he — along with Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta — once enjoyed could soon be over as Endeavor, parent company of the combat promotion, has filed paperwork to go public according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Indeed, Endeavor’s CEO Ari Emmanuel announced the game-changing move with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday (May 23, 2019). From the report:
The media company that counts talent agency WME among its holdings generated $3.61 billion in revenue in 2018 and net income of $231.3 million, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. After adjustments, net income was $100.1 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $551.1 million.
Of course, Endeavor is more well-known for its dominance on the Hollywood talent and entertainment scene, with UFC being just a part of its vast portfolio that also includes deals with NHL and Professional Bull Riders, among others.
That said, the move could mean big changes for UFC’s once well-guarded financial records since publicly traded companies must disclose that type of information. With Endeavor looking to get entry into the public stock market, there will be plenty of interested stockholders who will want to know more detailed specifics about the company’s earnings before getting in on the shares.
UFC recently inked a seven-year deal with ESPN, which means it became even more mainstream and opened up more opportunities for other potential investors to take a chance on the company and try to make a buck off its vast earning potential.
Endeavor — formerly known as WME-IMG — purchased UFC for a whopping $4 billion in 2016 from ZUFFA LLC, who was quite comfortable in being a private company and never showed interest in taking the fight promotion public. Just how much this affects UFC moving forward, remains to be seen.
Now, about that ownership thing.