In May 2016, ESPN reported that the UFC sale was imminent. On Dan Patrick’s show, Dana White, the UFC president, denied the claims and did not comment on the details reported by ESPN. What he hinted was that the company would not be put up for sale, but was looking for a new property. What he meant was that the company was seeking to expand within the current regime. On Dan Patrick’s show, Dana White said, “We are not for sale. We are always working on agreements and our expansion globally. I’ve been saying ever since this came out, no we’re not for sale, but let me tell you one thing. If someone shows up with $ 4 billion, we can talk. We can definitely talk. “
Dana White was unable to provide specific comment on the report or the pending UFC sale at the time. This can be attributed to the confidentiality surrounding the deal and the investors plus the current owners at the time did not want to jeopardize the deal.
Where everything began
In 2000, UFC president Lorenzo Fertitta and his brother, Frank purchased the mixed martial arts company at a total cost of $ 2 million from Sephamore Entertainment Group. Over time, the two brothers grew the company from an unfettered niche to a global empire. Today, mixed martial arts are regulated in all 50 states in the US Fighting stages are available worldwide. Some of its main superstars include Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, who rose in 2015 but have experienced a few setbacks in 2016.
UFC 200, which was held at the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena, was able to bring in $ 10.7 million for the company. This set a live gate record for the company. The UFC is known to produce more than 40 live events a year. Today, it is the world’s largest pay-per-view content provider, broadcasting to more than 156 countries around the world in 29 different languages.
So what has made the UFC exciting in 2016?
On Monday, July 11, 2016, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was sold for a price of $ 4 billion. The company was sold to a group led by WME-IMG, a talent management and marketing company that is known for representing A-listers in the entertainment industry. The Fertitta brothers, who were the previous owners, will leave the organization once the sale is complete. Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White will continue to run the organization and will rake in millions in the form of finder fees and a hefty annual contract that will pay him in the ranks of the NFL Roger Goodell commission.
What has been revealed is that the Fertitta brothers will retain a small passive minority stake, while Dana White, 46, will return an undisclosed amount of her 9% stake. Following the sale, White will continue to be the day-to-day promoter and face of the sports company.
Who were the previous UFC shareholders?
The company had four main shareholders. The Fertitta brothers owned a total of 81%, where Frank owned 40.5% and Lorenzo owned 40.5%. Dana White, the current president, owned 9%. The other shareholder is Flash Entertainment, which is a subsidiary owned by the Abu Dhabi government. The company bought a total of 10% in 2010 and still holds the shares even after the sale.
Before the sale to Flash Entertainment, both brothers had a total of 45% while Dana White had 10%. In 2010, they reached a deal in which the brothers sold 9% (4% of each brother) and 1% of Dana White to Flash Entertainment.
What made the deal possible?
In 2015, the UFC achieved a record $ 600 million in revenue. This is seen as the main reason why many investment firms made an offer to the current owners of the UFC (Fertitta and White). In 2018, investors expect Fox and ESPN to compete for new broadcast rights, as the show is now legal in all 50 states and even New York, where it was banned for quite some time. WME-IMG expects to make more money from the deal that has yet to be signed in 2018 than they did from the 7-year deal FOX has currently been holding.
Additionally, the company hopes to expand into China, where UFC has yet to go mainstream.
Who are the current investors?
The group – William Morris Endeavor – International Marketing Group is a large company that merged after WME bought IMG for $ 2.4 billion in 2013. The company is known to represent some of the largest clients, including Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Dwayne Johnson, Drake, Rihanna and …