The UFC has officially sold to WME | IMG for $4Billion. The news of the sale was first reported by FloCombat in June and has since been made official.
The new owners of the UFC are global leaders in the entertainment and sports world. They have a proven track record of building leading sports brands and said that they “will focus on accelerating the sport’s popularity and presence around the world”.
Silver Lake Partners and KKR will also join WME | IMG as new strategic investors, along with MSD Capital, L.P. and MSD Partners, L.P. which will provide preferred equity financing, according to a press release.
“We’ve been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes,” said WME | IMG Co-CEOs Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell. “It’s been exciting to watch the organization’s incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team. We’re now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport’s continued growth and success on a global scale.”
Dana White will stay on in his role as promoter with Lorenzo Fertitta stepping down from daily operations. The press release also states that the Fertitta brothers will both in fact “retain a passive minority interest in the organization”.
“We’re confident that the new ownership team of WME | IMG, with whom we’ve built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC’s global growth. Most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes.” Said Lorenzo J. Fertitta, Chairman and CEO.