Apr 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; WWE owner Vince McMahon during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Vince McMahon’s $670 Million Mega Deal Rocks the Sports World!

Inside the Groundbreaking WWE and UFC Merger Led by McMahon

In a major business move, Vince McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is set to sell a substantial portion of his shares in TKO Group Holdings. This groundbreaking company was formed from the merger of WWE and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a strategic initiative led by Endeavor, UFC’s owner.

Early on Friday, TKO announced the pricing of McMahon’s shares at $79.80 each, amounting to a staggering $670.3 million in total. This sale represents around 30% of McMahon’s previous holdings in TKO, based on a regulatory filing. The proceeds from this massive stock sale will go directly to McMahon, as confirmed by TKO in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday.

TKO Group is further strengthening its financial position by repurchasing approximately $100 million worth of its Class A common stock. This move is part of the stock sale initiative led by McMahon.

In 2022, McMahon stepped down as WWE’s chief executive amid a board investigation into alleged misconduct. However, he returned to the executive fold in January 2023 as the executive chairman, spearheading WWE’s sale efforts.

Notably, Ariel Emanuel, TKO’s CEO and director, and Mark Shapiro, president and COO, both invested $1 million in TKO stock. Additionally, other company directors have purchased $850,000 worth of shares. Morgan Stanley & Co. and MUFG Securities Americas are managing the book-running and co-managing aspects of the offering, respectively.

TKO recently disclosed its first public earnings since its inception. The third-quarter report showed a mixed bag: a significant 32% increase in revenue to $449.1 million and a 26% hike in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to $239.7 million, but a net income decline to $22 million from the previous year’s $129.7 million.

With the formation of TKO, Dana White continues as the UFC CEO, and Lawrence Epstein remains the senior executive VP and COO. Nick Khan, after his stint as WWE CEO, now serves as the president and has a seat on TKO’s board. Emanuel and Shapiro’s stock grants, as well as significant cash bonuses to WWE executives, further underscore the financial reshuffling post-merger.

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