8 months ago • 2 mins
The UFC's parent company Endeavor stepped into the ring and captured WWE in a $10 billion smackdown acquisition.
What does this mean?
Endeavor was originally known for representing film and TV stars, but a series of bumper acquisitions have beefed up its sports and entertainment muscle over the years. One show-stopping move came back in 2016, when it first snapped up a controlling stake in the UFC – the world’s biggest mixed-martial-arts organization. Since then, it seems to have been gunning for another title fight – and Endeavor must have spied a chance to flex its muscles in January, when WWE floated the idea of a sale. The firm announced the all-stock acquisition on Monday, in a deal that values WWE at nearly $10 billion. And with plans in the works to combine UFC and WWE into a single new company, the two contenders will be working as one uber-brawny $21 billion tag team before long.
Why should I care?
Zooming in: The old one-two.
This is shaping up to be a dream sports and entertainment “pure-play” for investors. See, while WWE leans toward melodrama with scripted smackdowns and larger-than-life characters, there's still potential for overlap with the authentic combat of UFC. After all, fighter crossovers have happened before, and this deal might open the door for more – with the potential to boost both brands’ popularity. Add in projected cost savings of as much as $100 million, and this could turn out to be a winning matchup.
The bigger picture: No glass jaw.
Economists are warning about the growing risk we’ll be hit by a recession – but Endeavor's bet on the sports and entertainment industry could be a winner even if they’re right. After all, fans tend to lean on their passions when times get tough, and that makes the sector pretty sturdy. Compared to firms in some other industries, then, Endeavor might only face a relatively gentle tap-out – not a full-on knockout blow.
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