Endeavor Sets Pricing For IPO, Also Eyes $1.8B Placement And Full UFC Ownership

Endeavor has set the pricing and details of its initial public offering as well as a private placement which it hopes will yield $1.8 billion and give it full control of the UFC mixed-martial arts circuit.

The timing of the offering is not firmly set but today’s SEC filing of updated details sends a signal that Endeavor management is about to embark on a road show to pitch investors. The parent company of WME, IMG and a range of content assets yanked its previous IPO at the 11th hour in 2019. Market conditions and other factors would have stymied its chances, the company concluded. The IPO market overall has rebounded strongly in the meantime, and Endeavor also resolved a protracted struggle with the Writers Guild of America over packaging.

In the filing, Endeavor said it plans to offer 21.3 million shares, priced at $23 to $24 a share. Including a number of restricted shares earmarked for management, the offering is expected to be valued at $439 million. Shares of Endeavor Group Holdings will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol EDR.

Separately, the company is aiming for a private placement that will yield $837 million for Endeavor to take full control of UFC. An additional $950 million would be designated as working capital, giving the total placement a value of $1.8 billion.

Endeavor led a group of private investors in a $4 billion acquisition of the UFC in 2016. While the circuit has grown steadily, especially among younger fans, and netted lucrative TV and pay-per-view deals, the transaction added to Endeavor’s debt load.

Last month, Endeavor formally resumed its IPO quest, filing the initial paperwork but providing few financial details. It disclosed it had added Elon Musk to the board of directors.

The Ari Emanuel-led firm acknowledged suffering a heavy blow in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, posting a net loss of $625.3 million. “As challenging a year as 2020 was, it underscored the strength, creativity, and resilience of our people who mobilized time and time again in the face of overwhelming odds,” Emanuel wrote in a letter included in the filing. “We made difficult decisions but worked as a team to find creative solutions and best position the business for the future.”

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