Endeavor Buys Back UFC Minority Stake from Abu Dhabi Investors

Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG) purchased the UFC in July of 2016. Although the company purchased the UFC, there were a few minority shareholders that didn’t initially go away with the $4.025 billion price tag that Endeavor paid.

Among the minority investors that were still on board were former majority owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and an Abu Dhabi investment company called Flash Entertainment. 

Endeavor eventually bought out the Fertitta brothers, and have now also bought back the stake held by Flash, which held a 10-percent stake in the company when it first invested.

In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, Flash Entertainment CEO John Lickrish confirmed the sale of its UFC shares, which it bought in 2010.

“After almost 10 years the time was right to exit that investment,” Lickrish said.

It has been a little more than two years since Endeavor purchased the UFC, but it has made big moves during that time. The UFC reportedly had its biggest financial year ever in 2017, and will move its television home to ESPN in 2019.

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UFC president Dana White, who remained with the company following the sale, has declared that the UFC is now worth almost twice what Endeavor paid for it in 2016, and indicated that business isn’t slowing down any time soon.

“We just did a TV deal with ESPN for $1.5 billion for five years. Now the company is worth $7 billion,” White said in an interview with Tony Robbins.

“When you think about it, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet of how big this thing can be.”