What is TKO? Know everything about $21 billion UFC-WWE merger’s new title

Here is everything you need to know about the newly formed TKO group after the famous merger of UFC and WWE.


What is TKO? Know everything about $21 billion UFC-WWE merger’s new title

Dana White (Image via IMAGO)

Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, recently made a significant announcement regarding the completion of its massive $21 billion merger with WWE. This development officially brings both the UFC and WWE under a single entity, appropriately named TKO Group Holdings. Furthermore, this newly merged entity is now actively trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Following the merger, although the TKO brand originated from this union, both brands have become integral components of the larger parent corporation, Endeavor. In 2021, Endeavor acquired the entirety of Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, and subsequently fused it with WWE to establish TKO Group Holdings.

Consequently, TKO operates as a subsidiary under the umbrella of Endeavor. Ari Emanuel can assume the role of CEO for both entities. In terms of ownership, Endeavor will possess a majority stake of 51% in the newly formed company, while WWE’s shareholders will hold the remaining 49%.

Related: “I would create,” Dana White teases boxing venture post-TKO formation, keeping details under wraps

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What is TKO? 

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TKO trading on NYSE (Image via IMAGO)

TKO Group Holdings emerges as a prestigious and influential sports and entertainment conglomerate, housing two paramount entities. First, the UFC, renowned globally as the foremost organization in mixed martial arts, and second, WWE, a comprehensive and integrated media powerhouse recognized as the unrivaled leader in the domain of sports entertainment on a global scale. This merger combines its strengths into a single dynamic entity poised to make a significant impact in the world of sports and entertainment.

TKO was established through the collaborative efforts of WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel. Vince McMahon will take on the role of chairman at TKO, while Ari Emanuel will assume the position of CEO. Following the merger, Dana White, the former President of the UFC, has been elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UFC.

As confirmed by Lawrence Epstein, the UFC’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dana White, will continue to oversee the UFC’s day-to-day activities. Additionally, there are no plans for significant alterations, and Paul Levesque, the Chief Content Officer of WWE, will retain his role as the creative head for WWE.

Why is the UFC-WWE merger important?

Vince McMahon and Dana White Image Courtesy Sporting news
Vince McMahon and Dana White (Image courtesy of Sporting News)

TKO’s estimated valuation stands at approximately $21 billion. Endeavor has disclosed that the TKO merger is anticipated to generate annualized cost synergies ranging from approximately $50 million to $100 million. This projection encompasses the process of transitioning WWE into Endeavor‘s existing back-office infrastructure.

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It’s important to note that the cost-saving measures associated with this merger may potentially entail workforce reductions in both WWE and the UFC. However, specific details regarding any layoffs are currently unavailable. Under the newly consolidated entity, the UFC contributed $1.14 billion in revenue. While the WWE brought in $1.29 billion for the fiscal year 2022.

The combined net income amounted to a substantial $351.8 million. Endeavor is confident that this merger will leverage its expertise across various domains. This includes ticket sales, yield optimization, event management, hospitality, and more. These synergies are expected to propel the merged venture toward achieving even greater levels of growth and success.

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