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World Wrestling Entertainment and Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. are combining fighting forces to create a massive entertainment company valued at over $21 billion.
Endeavor, which owns and operates UFC, will take a 51 percent stake in WWE, the professional wrestling outfit operated by Vince McMahon.
McMahon plans to remain with the company, to be led by current Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel.
The combined company, which will be traded publicly under the TKO symbol, will take on a new name, and McMahon said the combined entity will focus immediately on maximizing shared media rights.
“Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity,” McMahon said in a statement.
A combined board composed of five WWE members and six from Endeavor is set to begin forging the path of the company immediately.
McMahon reportedly considered a sale to ESPN and Amazon before the merger.
McMahon purchased Capitol Wrestling from his father in 1982 and last year reported $1.3 billion in revenue as World Wrestling Entertainment. In the mid-80s, with household names such as Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan, Capitol Wrestling became the World Wrestling Federation. – Rappler.com