Endeavor Going Private in Deal With Majority Shareholder Silver Lake

Endeavor, the sports and entertainment giant that owns agencies WME and IMG, announced on Tuesday it will be acquired by private equity firm Silver Lake in a deal that values the company at $13 billion. The move arrives three years into Endeavor’s tenure as a publicly traded company and just six months since WME’s chief rival, CAA, came under new ownership.

Silver Lake is Endeavor’s largest shareholder, having made its initial investment in WME in 2012 and purchasing IMG two years later, and plans on acquiring 100% of the remaining shares by offering stockholders $27.50 per share in cash, representing a 55% premium to the unaffected share price of $17.72 per share. Endeavor noted that was the price of shares on Oct. 25, 2023, a day before the company disclosed a review of strategic alternatives that included going private.


The company, which went public in 2021 following pandemic-era delays, currently trades as EDR on the New York Stock Exchange, closing at $25.81 on Tuesday (April 2).

In addition to WME and IMG, Endeavor’s portfolio includes live event hospitality firm On Location, marketing agency 160over90 and sports betting data firm OpenBet. Endeavor is also the majority owner of TKO Group Holdings, formed last year to merge its martial arts league UFC with World Wrestling Entertainment. TKO is not part of the Silver Lake acquisition, however, and will continue trading on the NYSE as “TKO” and “will continue to benefit from its connectivity to Endeavor’s expertise, relationships, and significant capabilities,” the company clarified.

Led by co-CEOs Egon Durban and Greg Mondre, Silver Lake’s $102 billion in combined assets includes a portfolio of companies like Oak View Group, Fanatics, TEG, Waymo, Stripe, Plaid, SoFi and Madison Square Garden Sports, among others.

Endeavor said the transaction is fully financed through equity from Silver Lake and additional capital from partnering investors, including Mubadala Investment Company, DFO Management, Lexington Partners, and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Members of Endeavor’s leadership team, including chief executive Ari Emanuel, executive chairman Patrick Whitesell and president and COO Mark Shapiro, will also roll over their equity, and new debt financing was secured by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America and other institutions.

“Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today,” said Emanuel. “We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company.”

Stephen Evans, managing director of Silver Lake and a director of Endeavor, said: “The team at Silver Lake is proud of our longstanding partnership with Endeavor, marked by more than $3.5 billion of direct investment across six distinct transactions over 12 years. We are excited about what we can achieve together in this next phase, spearheaded by Endeavor’s visionary expertise across talent representation and content and ownership of truly special, marquee assets in sports.”

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