Endeavor Group, the parent of the WME talent agency and a significant shareholder in the new TKO combat-sports business, said it would launch a “strategic review” of its assets in a bid to find new ways to boost shareholder value – and one of them may be going private.
The private-equity giant Silver Lake said Wednesday that it is “currently working toward making a proposal to take Endeavor private. Silver Lake firmly believes in Endeavor’s business and is not interested in selling its shares in Endeavor to a third-party nor in entertaining bids for assets that are a part of Endeavor.” Silver Lake owns approximately 71% of the voting share of Endeavor, and two of its senior executives sit on Endeavor’s board of directors.
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“Given the continued dislocation between Endeavor’s public market value and the intrinsic value of Endeavor’s underlying assets, we believe an evaluation of strategic alternatives is a prudent approach to ensure we are maximizing value for our shareholders,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, in a prepared statement.
Endeavor unveiled its strategy weeks after Francois-Henry Pinault, the French billionaire, agreed to buy a majority stake in rival CAA, in a deal said to be valued at as much as $7 billion. Meanwhile, Endeavor’s stock on Wednesday hovered just above its 52-week low. Shares popped in after-hours trading following the company’s announcement of its review.
Endeavor said it will not consider selling its interest in TKO Group Holdings, the recently formed company that incorporates the professional wrestling giant WWE and the UFC mixed martial arts league.
Endeavor has not set a deadline or timetable for completing its review and said a decision to change its corporate structure is not guaranteed.
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