In a note to clients on Tuesday, Bank of America analyst Jessica Reif Erlich laid out a few opportunities: “While difficult to quantify exact revenue synergies at this stage, there are several areas of significant potential: (1) upcoming media rights renewals at both companies (WWE’s Fox and NBC deals expiring in ’24 with UFC U.S. rights up for renewal at YE25) as well as the ability to create a new direct-to-consumer offering combining UFC and WWE content; (2) increased sponsorship and licensing opportunities; (3) cross-promotional opportunities (including use of UFC athletes for WWE events); (4) improved event operations at WWE including premium hospitality and improved ticketing capabilities and (5) upside potential from sports betting at WWE which recently sought to receive regulatory approval to legalize betting on match results.”
WWE and Endeavor announced Monday that the two public companies would combine in a deal valuing both companies at more than $21 billion. WWE is being valued at $9.3 billion, a more than 33% premium to the company’s market cap on Friday, while UFC owner Endeavor is being valued at $12.1 billion.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will run the combined company as CEO while WWE majority owner and Executive Chairman Vince McMahon is assuming the executive chairman role. WWE’s Nick Khan will be the president of the wrestling brand alongside UFC president Dana White.
“The strategic rationale for this transaction is crystal clear as this creates a pure-play sports IP ownership entity with exposure to the fastest growing sub-segment of media and entertainment-live sports and, in this case, a sports area that has yet to be fully monetized,” Reif Erlich added.
Endeavor stated that it sees deal synergies in the range of $50 million to $100 million, mostly through back office consolidation. The combined company will trade under the ticker symbol $TKO on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We like the announced transaction to merge UFC with WWE as it creates a separate contained live sport entity that can maximize long-term value and valuation for shareholders and no incremental debt usage is a major positive in terms of transaction structure,” Jefferies analyst Randy Konik said in a client note.
WWE and Endeavor didn’t return repeated requests by Yahoo Finance for an interview on the transaction.