UFC president Dana White no longer presides over a robust, private, niche-novelty business.
Now, he’s sharing it with all the people – and the big hitters have taken an interest.
New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, AC Milan owner (and billionaire) Paul Singer and Dan Loeb (billionaire, activist) are among people who took a stake in UFC parent Endeavor Group Holdings last week, during a complicated process engineered concurrently with its IPO, according to regulatory filings.
“It’s official the UFC is now a public company,” UFC president Dana White wrote on social media last week.
ESPN reported: “Endeavor is in the process of acquiring 100 percent ownership of UFC. Previously, Endeavor had owned 50.1 percent of the promotion, which it purchased from Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta for $4 billion in 2016.”
Already on board via prior investments were the money firms of Larry Ellison (Google billionaire and 98% owner of a Hawaiian island) and Michael Dell (billionaire and, you know, computers).
Endeavor president Mark Shapiro spoke highly of the UFC slice.
“Having UFC gives us great flexibility when it comes to cash flow and give us the ability to fully leverage UFC across the Endeavor platform,” Shapiro said in a Variety story.
According to Variety, Shapiro credited White’s company with helping provide “reserves that helped us power through the pandemic.”
The investors reportedly purchased 74.5 million shares sold at the IPO price of $24, and it already has paid nicely, with shares trading on Wednesday at $28.79 (up from $24, that’s just south $450 million profit).
The Kraft Group also owns the MLS’ New England Revolution, the Overwatch League’s Boston Uprising oh, and Gillette Stadium.
The IPO and the private placement transactions were conducted last week, but officially closed Monday.