Photo Credit: Endeavor

Endeavor Announces Close of UFC And WWE Transaction To Create TKO

The long-awaited merger between WWE and UFC under the Endeavor umbrella is now complete.

It was announced this morning via press release that TKO Group Holdings is the new name for the joint venture, and is being described as a premium sports and entertainment company.

CEO of Endeavor and TKO Ariel Emanuel said the creation of the new company will mark a new chapter for both WWE and UFC.

“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment,” Ariel Emanuel said. “Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders. With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide.”

Vince McMahon is the Executive Chairman of TKO

Executive Chairman of TKO Vince McMahon calls this the culmination of a “decades-long partnership” between Endeavor and WWE.

“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights. Given our collaborative, trusted relationship and Endeavor’s incredible track record of success growing UFC, we believe WWE is optimally positioned for future growth and success as part of TKO,” said Vince McMahon, Executive Chairman of TKO. “Our focus remains on delivering for our fans across the globe as we take the business to the next level alongside UFC and Endeavor.”

The new leadership of Endeavor is as follows:

  • Ariel Emanuel, Chief Executive Officer, who continues as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor;
  • Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Operating Officer, who continues as President and Chief Operating Officer of Endeavor;
  • Andrew Schleimer, Chief Financial Officer; and
  • Seth Krauss, Chief Legal Officer, who continues as Chief Legal Officer of Endeavor.

Dana White is now Chief Executive Officer of UFC and Lawrence Epstein remains Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UFC. Nick Khan continues at WWE in the role of President.

A new era for WWE

The Board of Directors of TKO is led by Vince McMahon as Executive Chairman of the Board and consists of 11 members, including Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Shapiro, and Mr. Khan, in addition to the following directors:

  • Peter C.B. Bynoe, Senior Advisor at DLA Piper LLP;
  • Egon P. Durban, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Silver Lake;
  • Steven R. Koonin, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlanta Hawks, LLC;
  • Jonathan A. Kraft, President of the Kraft Group LLC;
  • Sonya E. Medina, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reach Resilience;
  • Nancy R. Tellem, Executive Chairperson and Chief Media Officer of Eko; and
  • Carrie Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer and a board member of Opendoor Technologies Inc.

READ MORE: Vince McMahon Reportedly Back From Medical Leave, Made Several Changes To WWE RAW

What are your thoughts on this merger? Is it still hard to comprehend that WWE and UFC are under the same umbrella? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.