In a historic convergence of two titans in the realms of mixed martial arts (MMA) and professional wrestling, the UFC and WWE have united to establish a groundbreaking company known as TKO. This merger, first announced in April, reached its official culmination on Tuesday, as TKO ceremoniously commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange with an initial share price of $102.
TKO enters the market with an astounding valuation of $21.4 billion, featuring Endeavor as the majority stakeholder with a 51% ownership share, while WWE’s previous investors retain the remaining 49%. Notably, this shift marks the first time that the McMahon family relinquished majority control over WWE.
Executives hailing from Endeavor, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) gathered at the New York Stock Exchange to mark this momentous merger with the ringing of the bell.
Dana White, the President of UFC, expressed his enthusiasm for the newly formed entity, stating, “I am always excited, but following this merger, our potential has surged to levels previously unimagined. We have become an even more formidable force than before. When I contemplate all that I aspire to accomplish, today’s development makes those goals considerably more attainable.”
With the inception of TKO, prominent executives from both organizations have assumed new roles and titles.
Endeavor’s CEO, Ari Emanuel, and President & COO, Mark Shapiro, will continue to wield significant influence as they also take on the roles of CEO and President & COO at TKO, respectively.
Vince McMahon, a towering figure in the world of professional wrestling, will assume the prestigious position of TKO’s Executive Chairman of the Board. Additionally, Nick Khan will retain his board seat and continue in his capacity as WWE President.
Dana White, while no longer holding the title of UFC President, will now bear the official designation of “UFC CEO” following the merger.