WWE and UFC are officially merged into TKO Group, and Endeavor President Mark Shapiro commented on next steps for the company.
The day after WrestleMania 39, Vince McMahon announced that WWE would be merging with UFC to form a new $21+ billion entity under parent company Endeavor. In May, it was later revealed that the new company would be called TKO Group Holdings and would trade under symbol TKO on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of September 12th, the Endeavor takeover of WWE is complete. Ari Emanuel now serves as CEO of TKO Group, while Vince McMahon is Executive Chairman of the Board. Nick Khan and Dana White serve as Presidents of WWE and UFC respectively.
Speaking in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Endeavor CEO Mark Shapiro commented on the merger, saying that TKO’s first mission is to focus on premium content and live events.
“We’re ready to fire out of the gate. [With WWE and UFC combined, Endeavor will] “now have a much stronger and firmer seat at the table. But our first mission is to fully capitalize on this insatiable demand for premium content and live events.”
WWE Staff Cuts Expected Following Endeavor Takeover
Shapiro also made note that the company would focus on streamlining costs. He also commented on licensing and media rights, saying:
“We will be wringing out cost synergies, but at the same time identifying those areas that are under-monetized or where revenue synergy significantly exists. And that’s happening across our domestic and international media rights, our sponsorship and global partnerships, our product licensing, enhancing our live events, through ticket yield, venue fees and premium experiences, and then just overall expanding internationally, all of these businesses and doing it with a halo of the Endeavor flywheel, which cannot be underestimated the influence and impact that will bring.”
According to a recent report, some staff within WWE are “gritting their teeth” as they wait to find out what this move means for their futures. Cuts are expected, though these are expected to affect office staff far more than they will talent.