WWE WrestleMania 39 isn’t even in the books yet and news is breaking behind the scenes that could shake the foundation of pro wrestling up for the foreseeable future. CNBC is reporting that WWE is in “advanced talks to be sold to Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Group, the parent company of UFC,” according to sources they have spoken with that are familiar with the matter.
The report goes on to say that the sale could be announced as soon as Monday, which is somewhat fitting considering the close proximity of WWE’s acquisition of WCW just six days before WrestleMania XVII. WWE and UFC are expected to form a publicly traded company as part of the agreement, based on sources that declined to be named “due to the confidential nature of the discussions.”
As part of the agreement, Endeavor would own 51% of the company while WWE investors would retain 49% ownership. This would apparently give WWE an enterprise value of $9 billion. It is expected that Emmanual will remain as chief executive of both Endeavor and the new company while McMahon, interestingly, will be the executive chairman, a role he will share with current Endeavor President Mark Shapiro. Furthermore, expanding the executive branch, Dana White will remain as president of UFC while WWE CEO Nick Khan will serve as president of “wrestling business.”
As noted in CNBC’s report, this sale effectively ends WWE’s decades-old ownership by the McMahon family.
Night two of WrestleMania 39 is set to begin in just a few hours and now takes on even more historical significance. Whoever walks out as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, whether it be Cody Rhodes or Roman Reigns, is certainly positioned to be the face of a new generation.
Be sure to watch Haus of Wrestling’s live feed of tonight’s post-show press conference on the Premier Streaming Network, where this is sure to be addressed.
Stay with Haus of Wrestling for all the latest on what looks to be WWE’s impending sale.