UFC owner WME/IMG recently confirmed that it is close to closing a deal that raises $1.1 billion dollars from two foreign investors. Part of that money will be used to help WME/IMG buy out some of the outstanding minority owners in the UFC.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the buyouts will help raise WME/IMG’s ownership stake to a 51-percent majority. Among the minority investors believed to be targeted for at least a partial buyout are “banks, investors in the United Arab Emirates, former owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and Dana White.”
Despite White being on the buyout list, he insisted that he is not going anywhere. In fact, White told the Los Angeles Times that he is digging in for the long haul.
“I’m not going anywhere, brother,” White told reporter Lance Pugmire. “Not only am I not going anywhere, I’m actually making moves in the office and doing (stuff) and changing things for the way I really want it.
“I’m burrowing myself in like a … tick.”
White cashed out to the tune of an estimated $360 million dollars when WME/IMG purchased the UFC for slightly more than $4 billion last year. Although White no longer holds a significant stake in the company, and that stake appears to be dwindling even further after the buyout, he inked a five-year deal with the new ownership, which is believed to pay him 9-percent of net profits annually.
Upon news of the buyouts, White continued to insist that he views his role with WME/IMG owner Ari Emanuel as a partnership, and he has plans to continue growing what he and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta built into a promotional juggernaut.
“Ari and I are partners. We’re getting involved in more (stuff). We’re not going to spend a lot of money and not change things. I’m making a lot of changes in this new building for things I want changed.”
In a news release Wednesday, WME/IMG announced Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Government of Singapore Investment Fund would join WME/IMG primary stakeholder Silver Lake Partners as strategic partners. Though the $1.1 billion investment will help buy out minority UFC owners, the investment is in WME/IMG and is expected to help the company with other acquisitions and business dealings.