WWE and UFC are now under one roof as the ultimate sports and entertainment tag team.
Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. officially closed its announced deal with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, CNBC reported.
The new company is called TKO Group Holdings, or TKO. It is a nod to both professional wrestling’s World Wrestling Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship, the mixed martial arts organization. TKO stands for technical knockout.
Endeavor holds a 51% controlling interest in the company, while existing WWE shareholders control 49% of the stock, according to Variety.
The unified TKO organization can claim more than 1 billion fans worldwide across 180 countries, producing more than 350 annual live events, Variety reported.
Endeavor also owns Professional Bull Riders and two tennis tournaments -- the Mutua Madrid Open and the Miami Open, according to CNBC. It also owns the WME talent agency and the IMG sports and events firm, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It was a huge moment for Vince McMahon Jr., who built the pro wrestling company his father founded during the 1960s from a regional promotion to an international powerhouse.
The McMahon family has ceded control, and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel is now TKO’s chief executive, according to Deadline. Vince McMahon is now TKO’s executive chairman, the website reported.
McMahon, who was the controlling shareholder in WWE, will own 16.4% of the economic interests in TKO and the same share of the voting power, Variety reported. McMahon stepped down as WWE’s chief executive in June 2022 after an investigation by the company’s board after allegations surfaced about alleged hush money paid to women who accused him of sexual misconduct.
McMahon returned to WWE as executive chairman in January 2023 in order to facilitate efforts to sell WWE>
Endeavor president and COO Mark Shapiro has the same role at TKO, Deadline reported. Dana White will remain the CEO at UFC, while Nick Khan will be the WWE president.
“With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide,” Emanuel said in a statement.
“We are well-positioned to capitalize on the demand for live sports and entertainment across linear and digital, and we have enough content to do both,” Shapiro told The Wall Street Journal.