Endeavor — the parent company to the UFC — is reportedly looking to take the company public by the end of 2019 with an initial public offering.
While there has been no official announcement, the Wall Street Journal reported that paperwork has either been filed or would be filed soon for the initial public offering as Endeavor prepares to sell stock in the company for the first time.
Because Endeavor owns the UFC, that technically means the mixed martial arts promotion would also be part of the packaged deal for potential investors looking to buy stock in the company.
No one from Endeavor including co-CEO’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell have made any statement regarding the reported plans to take the company public but it’s safe to say UFC president Dana White isn’t a fan of the idea.
For years under Zuffa ownership, which consisted primarily of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta as well as White, the UFC stayed a private company. Now it appears three years after the sale of the UFC to Endeavor for just over $4 billion, it looks like investors will be able to buy stock in the company sooner rather than later.
“I’ve never been a fan of it,” White told ‘Game On’ in Las Vegas when asked about the UFC going public. “No, I’ve never been a fan of the UFC going public. Could you picture me running a public company?
“Let’s take some bets on how long I last in a public company. What’s the over/under on that one?”
All jokes aside, White’s concerns aren’t completely unfounded because as a publicly traded company, stockholders will have a say in major decisions made at Endeavor. That said, Emanuel and Whitesell will almost undoubtedly keep a majority share of the company so they can continue to make the day-to-day decisions for Endeavor no matter how much stock is sold.
White just recently inked a new seven-year deal to remain the president of the UFC so it’s not likely he’s going anywhere, anytime soon.