Endeavor Aims to Raise $620 Million With IPO
Powerhouse agency Endeavor disclosed Monday that it expects a price between $30 and $32 per share for its initial public offering in the fall.
Endeavor — the parent company of WME, UFC, IMG, Professional Bull Riders and other assets — aims to raise as much as $620 million with the sale of 19.4 million shares. Another 2.9 million shares may be offered to the IPO underwriters, which include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The company’s market cap is expected to be around $8 billion. Endeavor shares are set to trade on the NYSE under the symbol EDR.
The company plans to use $500 million of the IPO proceeds to pay down debt and another $46.8 million for working capital and general corporate purposes. It may also use the proceeds for acquisitions, according to the filing.
Endeavor will have a complex stock structure, with CEO Ari Emanuel and chairman Patrick Whitesell holding super-voting Class Y shares that will help them keep control of the company. Emanuel and Whitesell will each own 18.7% of the company after the IPO.
Endeavor’s Class Y shares come with 20 votes per share compared to one vote per share for the Class A shares to be offered to the public. Endeavor also has nonvoting Class B shares and Class X shares that come with one vote per share. Other Class Y shareholders include those affiliated with Silver Lake, the private equity giant that has been a major investor in Endeavor since 2012. Silver Lake and affiliates will own 41.3% of the company after the IPO.
As Class Y shareholders, Emanuel, Whitesell and Silver Lake’s affiliates “will be able to control any action requiring the general approval of our stockholders, including the election of our board of directors, the adoption of amendments to our certificate of incorporation and by-laws and the approval of any merger or sale of substantially all of our assets,” the filing states.
Endeavor is mounting an ambitious IPO effort at a time of massive transformation for the content and distribution arenas. The company is pitching itself as a next-generation entertainment, lifestyle and sports-focused venture that is enhanced by its deep connections to top talent through its WME and IMG representation arms.
Endeavor’s financial disclosures to date have drawn mixed reviews from Wall Street analysts, given the company’s high debt load and capital needs following its acquisition spree of the last few years. The company delayed the IPO launch in August in part as it moved to complete the acquisition of On Location Experiences, a live events company.