1 of 3 | WWE owner Vince McMahon holds a replica plaque as he kneels on his newly unveiled star during a ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in March 2008. WWE and UFC announced a merger that will create a $21B company. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
April 3 (UPI) -- The UFC and WWE will merge, creating a new $21B sports and entertainment company. it was announced today.
Endeavor, UFC's parent company will continue to be run by its CEO Ari Emanuel, who will also run the combined company. Endeavor will have a 51% controlling interest in while WWE's shareholders will own 49% of the new company.
"This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed," said Emanuel in a joint press release. "For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together."
The new executive team will be comprised of Vince McMahon, WWE's owner who will become executive chairman of the combined company and Endeavor President and COO Mark Shapiro will retain his roles. UFC president Dana White will remain president and WWE CEO Nick Khan's new title will be president of the wrestling business.
"Together, we will be a $21-plus billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity," McMahon said in a statement announcing the merger. "The new company will be well-positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands."
In an Instagram post, White extolled the virtues of both brands.
"This company has been on fire for the last seven years and now that we will be adding WWE to the portfolio I'm excited to take this to another level."