Endeavor — the parent group that owns the UFC as well as talent agency WME-IMG — is in talks with Saudi Arabia on an investment that could exceed $500 million for a partial ownership stake in the company.
According to multiple reports, Endeavor is deep into negotiations with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund that would see a potential $500 million plus investment into the company that would be good for a 5 to 10-percent ownership stake.
Negotiations on the deal are reportedly still ongoing and no final decisions have been made.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud has been working towards expanding the country’s investments beyond oil and recently lifted a 35 year ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia. The investment in Endeavor would be a huge step forward in exploring more options in the entertainment industry as WME-IMG is known as a power house Hollywood agency representing stars from film, television, music and books.
Last year, Endeavor received another big injection of funds to help cash out some executives as well as reportedly buying out minority UFC owners such as Flash Entertainment, a company based out of Abu Dhabi. Perhaps that move was made in long term planning to receive the investment from Saudi Arabia instead.
Endeavor was valued at $6.3 billion including debt as of last year with investments in the company coming from numerous sources including Silver Lake and Softbank.