Possible Rewrite: Endeavor Group’s Privatization Under Review by Silver Lake

Date: October 25, 2023, 09:15h. 

Last updated on: October 25, 2023, 09:15h.

Shares of Endeavor Group Holdings (EDR) surged 22.57% in after-hours trading after venture capital firm Silver Lake announced it is exploring strategic alternatives with the parent company of the UFC, including the possibility of taking it private.

OpenBet acquisition
Endeavor Group CEO Ari Emanuel. Investor Silver Lake may look to take the company private. (Image: Vanity Fair)

Silver Lake currently owns 71% of the voting power in Endeavor, which also owns IMG Arena and operates PBR and Euroleague.

Silver Lake is working towards making a proposal to take Endeavor private, as it firmly believes in the company’s business and is not interested in selling its shares or assets to a third party.

This news from Silver Lake comes after rival CAA sold a majority stake to Francois-Henry Pinault.

Silver Lake News Extends Busy Period for Endeavor

Silver Lake’s talks with Endeavor add to the recent activity surrounding the company.

Endeavor recently completed the acquisition of World Wrestling Entertainment for $9.3 billion. The company also announced its first-ever dividend and plans to repurchase up to $300 million worth of shares.

Endeavor owns 51% of the combined WWE and UFC business and has no plans to sell that stake, which could be appealing to Silver Lake.

“Silver Lake has been a committed investor in Endeavor since 2012 and has made significant investments to support its growth,” stated the investor.

Endeavor’s Gaming Connections

In addition to UFC’s popularity, Endeavor has ties to the sports wagering industry.

Its IMG Arena unit provides data to sportsbook operators and acquired OpenBet from Scientific Games. OpenBet works with major sportsbook brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, and WynnBet.

Silver Lake is also involved in the gaming industry through its investment in Fanatics, which recently entered the US sports wagering market. The firm manages over $101 billion in combined assets and has stakes in various sports leagues and teams.

“Silver Lake’s portfolio companies generate nearly $265 billion in revenue annually and employ approximately 533,000 people globally,” noted the firm.

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