You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

UFC to Be Acquired by Consortium Led by WME-IMG for $4 Billion

As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday.

The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool controlled by computer billionaire Michael Dell.

The 23-year old company has been controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. They now cede control, but stay on as minority investors. They held some 80% of the company, alongside a 10% stake owned by the Abu Dhabi government and UFC president Dana White.

Although the brothers repeatedly denied the sale talks, reports from the investment community repeatedly leaked details of the negotiations — including interest from the giant Chinese property to entertainment group Dalian Wanda. China Media Capital and The Blackstone Group had also been reported as bidders.

A rep for WME-IMG declined comment. White told ESPN that the change in ownership was “very bittersweet,” but sought to assure fans that the change was for the good. “Sport is going to the next level,” he told the channel.

The sports empire has been a triumph in the digital era. In addition to live events, its fights are available as pay-per-view content and are shown in over 150 countries. UFC also sell subscriptions via its Fight Pass SVOD service, which it launched in 2013.

The league has also helped make cross-over stars of fighters including Randy Couture and Ronda Rousey.

WME-IMG was formed in 2013 after Hollywood talent agency WME and Silver Lake together acquired sports and events management group for $2.4 billion. It is now seeking to become a major owner of content especially in the sports arena, and last year acquired the Professional Bull Riders league.

 

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein (Co-Chairman, The Weinstein Company)Are

    Weinstein Accuser Says NYPD Detective Told Her to Delete Phone Data

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

  • Hollywood New Leaders Social Impact 10

    Variety Highlights 2018's 10 Assistants to Watch

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

  • Hollywood New Leaders Social Impact

    Hollywood's New Leaders 2018: Social Impact

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

  • Production Crew Members Especially Vulnerable to

    Why Production Crew Members Are Especially Vulnerable to Workplace Abuse

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

  • A trading post sports the Spotify

    Spotify Acquires Stake in Distrokid, Tightening Squeeze on Indie Distributors

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

  • Richard Branson Jason Felts

    Richard Branson Mulls Succession Among Plans for Virgin Brand

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

  • Richard Branson Bike Crash

    Richard Branson Is Still Pushing Limits as Virgin Founder Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

    As expected, mixed-martial arts league, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been acquired by a consortium of investors led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion. The companies are expected to make a formal announcement Monday. The investors in the WME-IMG corner are understood to include Silver Lake Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the private equity pool […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content