UFC, IMG owner Endeavor revives IPO plans

Endeavor logo

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.: Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, a global entertainment, sports and content company that owns talent agency WME, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and IMG, announced Wednesday that it has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to its proposed initial public offering.

Reuters reports that Endeavor’s move to revive its flotation comes as it looks to tap into a red-hot US IPO market, hoping for a warmer reception than the one it received in 2019, when weak investor demand forced the company to abandon its $400-million share sale a day before it was due to debut.

The IPO is planned for later this year. 

In its SEC filing Wednesday, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel stated: “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. 

“We made difficult decisions but worked as a team to find creative solutions and best position the business for the future.”

Despite the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, Emanuel sees plenty of opportunity for the company, Deadline.com reports. “The power of the Endeavor platform has been on full display as we have brought commercial activity back online, guided our clients through an unprecedented set of events, and fostered innovation of new digital business models that will drive growth well into the future,” he wrote. “The events of 2020 reminded us of the enduring value of premium intellectual property and content, while reinforcing the strength of our position within the sports and entertainment ecosystem.”

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan, KKR Capital Markets LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as joint lead bookrunners, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Evercore ISI, HSBC, Jefferies LLC, Moelis & Company, Piper Sandler, RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank are acting as joint bookrunners and CODE Advisors, DBO Partners, LionTree, Academy Securities, R. Seelaus & Co., LLC, Ramirez & Co., Inc. and Siebert Williams Shank are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.