When WWE wrapped up the Monday Night RAW at the Norfolk Scope in Virginia, it marked the end of the McMahon era in professional wrestling. Vince McMahon, who was at the helm of World Wrestling Entertainment for decades, is set to step down from his role as the ultimate authority of the promotional company. WWE and Endeavor, last week, issued a press release where they announced bringing the wrestling company and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) under the same umbrella to form a new publicly traded company named TKO Group Holdings.
“Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (‘Endeavor’) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (‘WWE’) today announced they expect to close the previously announced transaction to form TKO Group Holdings Inc. (‘TKO’) on September 12, 2023, at which time TKO will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘TKO’,” WWE wrote in the press release.
Despite the shift of ownership, McMahon will continue to stay as the executive chairman of WWE once the Endeavor deal gets finalised. However, he will now have a new boss, Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor. Emanuel will now also serve as the chief executive of the TKO Group which will have 51 percent of WWE’s ownership stake. The remaining 49 per cent of the company’s shares will be with WWE stakeholders.
The deal won’t make any significant impact on the UFC hierarchy as Dana White will continue to serve as the president of the MMA promotion company. Meanwhile, Nick Khan will stay in his role as the CEO and Chief Revenue Officer of WWE.
The official confirmation of Endeavour taking over the ownership came in April. Back then, McMahon released a statement, saying, “Given the incredible work that Ari [Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor] and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders,” as quoted by Metro.
While hinting at the merger, McMahon added, “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.”
In July last year, McMahon suddenly announced his retirement from his position within WWE on account of several allegations regarding sexual misconduct. He returned to his position later to oversee the potential sale of the wrestling promotion company. The Board of Directors initially refused to accept the offer. But they had to reinstate McMahon after he threatened to use his voting power to take back his position. As a Class B stock owner of WWE, McMahon has the power to block the sale of the company.