Endeavor has arranged a $260 million term loan to help get the company through the coronavirus-driven revenue crisis at the same time that it launches a broad cost-cutting initiative.
News of the loan was first reported Monday by the Wall Street Journal. Endeavor has been known to be looking for financial alternatives since last fall when the parent of UFC, WME, IMG and other entities was forced to table its planned IPO.
The extraordinary COVID-19 lockdowns brought the curtain down on sports, concerts, festivals and other live event businesses that are central to Endeavor’s businesses. The shutdown of film and TV production and music touring also promises to be a hardship for WME and IMG.
The Journal reported that the new loan is a supplement to an existing $2.8 billion term loan. Endeavor’s credit rating has been downgraded in recent weeks by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Credit Ratings given the crimp in revenues and the high debt of $4.5 billion already on the balance sheet. The Journal noted that the new loan comes with an 11% interest rate.
News of the loan agreement comes on the same day that Endeavor is expected to begin layoffs company wide that will amount to 20% of its roughly 7,500 staffers. At the WME talent agency alone, that is expected to affect at least 300 of its 1,500 employees.
The jolt of the pandemic has added to the pressure on Endeavor and its CEO Ari Emanuel. The company has been on an acquisition spree during the past decade, bankrolled by debt and capital from investors including private equity giant Silver Lake. The Journal pegged the total investment by Silver Lake in Endeavor at $2 billion since 2012.