UFC-Owner Endeavor Aims for Over US$10 Bil Valuation in Second IPO Attempt

BENGALURU (April 20): Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is aiming for a valuation of more than US$10 billion in its US initial public offering (IPO), in what will be its second shot at going public after a failed attempt in 2019.

Endeavor has also bought sports tech firm FlightScope Services Business for US$60 million, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The Beverly Hills, California based-company plans to offer about 21.3 million shares priced between US$23 and US$24 apiece, to raise US$511 million, it said.

Endeavor, which is backed by Hollywood power broker Ari Emanuel, counts celebrities such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova among its top-tier clients. It has also financed movies including “La La Land” and “Just Mercy”.

Endeavor, which earlier named Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to its board, is hoping for a warmer reception from investors than the one it received in 2019, when the company was forced to abort its US$400-million share sale a day, before it was supposed to go public, following weak investor demand.

In an earlier filing, Endeavor had disclosed plans to acquire the 49.9% stake it doesn’t already hold in UFC from private-equity firms KKR and Silver Lake, using proceeds from the IPO and a concurrent private placement of US$1.77 billion from investors including Dragoneer, Fidelity, Elliott Management, Tencent and Third Point.

Endeavor had bought controlling stake in UFC from casino moguls Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta in 2016.

The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “EDR”.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, KKR and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters for the company’s offering.

Source: The Edge

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