NEW YORK — Shares of TKO Group, the new company that houses WWE and UFC, opened at $102 per share in their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. has closed its previously announced deal with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. The pairing of WWE with the company that runs Ultimate Fighting Championship creates a $21.4 billion sports entertainment company.
In a presentation after the deal was announced in April, the WWE and Endeavor said that they will cross-promote to drive brand awareness and deepen penetration of their overlapping fan base of more than 700 million UFC fans and 1.2 billion WWE fans worldwide.
Endeavor has a 51% controlling interest in the new company. Existing WWE shareholders hold a 49% stake.
"With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide,” Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor and TKO Group, said in a statement.
Jefferies analyst Randal Konik likes the combination of UFC and WWE.
“We like the assets of UFC and WWE in a world where linear TV is losing market share to streaming, thus live sports content is in high demand,” he wrote in a note to clients. “The upcoming rights expirations for both WWE and UFC present meaningful upside opportunities to the cash flows of both UFC and WWE in their own rights and will further drive EBITDA margins in each franchise incrementally higher.”
TKO Group Holdings Inc. is trading on the NYSE under the “TKO” ticker symbol.