Home Private Equity Endeavor goes private in US$13bn Silver Lake deal

Endeavor goes private in US$13bn Silver Lake deal

Endeavor is to be taken private by private equity firm Silver Lake, with the sports, entertainment and talent management agency to be acquired at an equity value of US$13 billion.

  • Silver Lake to pay Endeavor stockholders US$27.50 per share
  • Transaction to close in Q1 2025

Private equity firm Silver Lake is taking Endeavor private in a deal that values the sports, entertainment and talent management agency to be acquired at an equity value of US$13 billion

The deal sees Silver Lake buy 100 per cent of shares it does not currently own, with Endeavor stockholders to receive US$27.50 per share in cash – a 55 per cent premium on the closing price on the last full trading day before the agency said it was exploring ‘strategic alternatives’.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2025. TKO Group, an Endeavor subsidiary created by the merger between the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is not part of the deal and will remain publicly traded.

As well as new and reinvested equity from Silver Lake, the all-cash deal is to be financed through capital provided by United Arab Emirates (UAE) sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, Michael Dell’s family office DFO Management, private equity firm Lexington Partners and funds managed by Goldman Sachs.

New debt financing has also been committed by several banks, including JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. Endeavor’s management team, including Emanuel, will additionally roll over their equity in the company.

Silver Lake said that when TKO’s value to Endeavor is taken into account, the US$25 billion value of the transaction makes the deal the ‘largest private equity sponsor public-to-private investment transaction in over a decade, and the largest ever in the media and entertainment sector’.

“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 Ariel Emmanuel, chief executive of Endeavor.

“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.”

As well as operating TKO Group, Endeavor also owns the WME talent agency, IMG, live event experiences specialist On Location and sports betting content and service provider OpenBet. Last year, it posted full-year revenues of US$5.96 billion. 

Silver Lake first invested in William Morris Endeavor (WME) in 2012, with other investments coming through the agency’s acquisition of IMG in 2014 and its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021.

“Our unwavering belief in Ari and Patrick [Whitesell], together with Mark [Shapiro] and other talented leaders at Endeavor, has never been stronger,” said Egon Durban, co-chief executive and managing partner of Silver Lake, who also chairs Endeavor’s board.

“This is a very special partnership. Together, we have built and grown Endeavor from US$350 million in annual revenue when we first invested in 2012 to nearly US$6 billion in consolidated revenue today. Now, Endeavor can take advantage of its unique core platform to meet the dynamic forces driving growth in content, sports, and live events with bold vision.

“Consistent with our mission and underscored by this commitment being among the largest in Silver Lake’s history, we are all in on working with the Endeavor team and our trusted anchor investors to create value by accelerating growth at scale.”

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