Vince McMahon’s ownership of WWE is over.
After months of waiting, the takeover of WWE by Endeavor has finally been completed bringing an end to decades of majority ownership of the company by Vince McMahon.
The takeover was announced on the day after WrestleMania 39 by McMahon and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel with WWE now falling under a new umbrella company – TKO Group Holdings – which also oversees the Endeavor-owned UFC.
Vince McMahon is now Executive Chairman of TKO Group while Nick Khan moves from his role as WWE CEO to WWE President, holding a similar position as Dana White in UFC. The new company is said to be valued at $21 billion with WWE worth $9 billion according to a press release from Endeavor at the beginning of the takeover process and has now been floated on the New York Stock Exchange.
A new dawn for WWE
A press release on WWE’s corporate website announced the completion of the deal ahead of the NYSE opening:
New Company to Begin Trading Today, September 12, on the New York Stock Exchange Under “TKO” Ticker Symbol
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. & STAMFORD, Conn. (September 12, 2023) – Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (previously NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) today announced the close of their previously announced agreement and the launch of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) (“TKO”).
TKO brings together UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment, to create a new premium sports and entertainment company serving more than one billion young and diverse fans1, reaching viewers in 180 countries, and producing more than 350 annual live events.
Through this combination, TKO will leverage Endeavor’s expertise in areas including domestic and international media rights, ticket sales and yield optimization, event operations, global partnerships, licensing, and premium hospitality to drive revenue growth.
Ari Emanuel is quoted as lauding the new chapter for both WWE and UFC under the TKO umbrella:
“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment. Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders. With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide.”
TKO Group’s Executive Chairman Vince McMahon explained why Endeavor’s success with UFC leads him to believe that WWE is now in the best possible hands:
“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights. Given our collaborative, trusted relationship and Endeavor’s incredible track record of success growing UFC, we believe WWE is optimally positioned for future growth and success as part of TKO. Our focus remains on delivering for our fans across the globe as we take the business to the next level alongside UFC and Endeavor.”
With the announcement, Vince McMahon’s 40+ year reign as majority owner of WWE is over and a new chapter begins in the history of the company and the pro wrestling business as a whole.