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Endeavor Going Private In Deal Valued At $13B

Endeavor Group Holdings, parent of talent agency WME and controlling shareholder in combat sports powerhouse TKO Group, is going private.

Private equity firm Silver Lake Capital is leading the privatization, which the company describes as the largest in media and entertainment history and the biggest in any sector over the past decade. The equity value of the acquisition is pegged at $13 billion, with the enterprise value nearly double that when the TKO interest is taken into account.

Shareholders will receive $27.50 in cash for each share, a 55% premium over the closing price last October 25, which was when Endeavor announced it was considering strategic alternatives.

The move ends a mixed 3-year run for Endeavor as a public company. Announced with great fanfare prior to Covid, the effort to take the company public was pulled at the 11th hour in 2019 before finally coming to pass in the spring of 2021. Shares in the company never broke out and became the value generator executives had hoped, though becoming public did personally enrich CEO Ari Emanuel and other top executives.

Rumors that the company was likely headed for a privatization had been circulating in recent months, especially after TKO’s public stock debut last fall.

Under the go-private deal, Silver Lake will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares it does not currently own.

Emanuel said Endeavor’s backing from Silver Lake since 2012 has been “central to our evolution.” He said the privatization will “maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public shareholders,” adding that management is “excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company.”

MORE to come …

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