Endeavor Decides to Take Itself Private

Endeavor Decides to Take Itself Private
Ariel Emanuel, chief executive of Endeavor Group. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Beverly Hills entertainment holding company Endeavor has entered a deal with the Menlo Park-based private equity firm Silver Lake to go private, less than three years after its initial public offering.

Silver Lake, a longtime backer of Endeavor, will buy all the shares in the company it doesn’t already own for $27.50 a share. This puts the entertainment holding company at a $13 billion equity value, making it one of the largest public-to-private transactions in the past decade. The deal was announced on April 2.

The transaction will be financed through an add-on equity investment by Silver Lake, as well as additional capital from three separate investment firms and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. 

Endeavor Chief Executive Ari Emanuel and Executive Chairman Patrick Whitesell will remain at the helm of the company alongside Silver Lake’s managing partner, Egon Durban, who serves as co-chief executive.

“Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today,” Emanuel said. “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.”

In conjunction with the take-private deal, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show Silver Lake plans to invest $250 million in seed equity into a new business founded and managed by Whitesell. The agreement says Whitesell will continue to serve on the Endeavor board.

Silver Lake first partnered with Emanuel and Whitesell in 2012 when it invested in William Morris Endeavor. The firm then supported a slew of acquisitions, including the IMG agency and notably the $4 billion purchase of Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2016. Last year, Endeavor acquired World Wrestling Entertainment and merged the entity with UFC, creating the publicly traded TKO Group.

According to last week’s take-private filing, TKO is not a part of the deal and will remain a publicly traded company.

Endeavor first debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2021, raising over half a billion dollars in a $10.3 billion

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