WME owner Endeavor to go private again after three-year run as a public company

Author: Editors Desk Source: Los Angeles Times
April 2, 2024 at 14:57
Ari Emanuel speaks during a festival in 2015. (Ilya S. Savenok)
Ari Emanuel speaks during a festival in 2015. (Ilya S. Savenok)

Endeavor, the owner of Hollywood talent agency WME, said Tuesday that it will be taken private by its largest investor, private equity firm Silver Lake, three years after the Beverly Hills-based entertainment giant made its stock market debut.

Under the deal, Silver Lake will acquire all outstanding shares of Endeavor that it does not own. Endeavor stockholders will get $27.50 per share in cash, a 55% premium from the closing price of $17.72 before Endeavor announced its plan to consider strategic alternatives. The company said it is being acquired at an equity value of $13 billion.

We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company,” said Endeavor Chief Executive Ari Emanuel in a statement.Endeavor-backed TKO, the publicly traded venture that owns UFC and WWE, is not party to the transaction, the company said. Silver Lake says that when consolidating all of TKO’s value into Endeavor, the combined total enterprise value is $25 billion.

Over the years, Endeavor has grown to be a diversified entertainment company, owning not just WME, but also Professional Bull Riders, live events experiences business On Location and other entertainment-related businesses. While Endeavor executives were bullish that these different parts of entertainment would make for a compelling and successful business, some investors were skeptical.

The company’s stock struggled to deliver the returns investors wanted.

Endeavor stock rose 2% to $25.89 a share in midday trading on Tuesday.

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