The UFC Has Officially Been Sold
Last month, well respected MMA journalist, Jeremy Botter, reported that he had sources confirming that the UFC had been sold by long-time owners Zuffa LLC to an investment group led by the William Morris Endeavor-IMG agency.
Several months ago, an investment banking firm by the name of Goldman Sachs was assigned the duties of handling a sealed bidding process for the sale of the UFC. Botter stated that the winning bidder also had ties to China.
The winning investment group also includes Dalian Wanda, China’s largest commercial property owner and operator of the largest chain of movie theaters in the world; Tencent, the owner of China’s largest internet portal and search engine; and the Kraft Group, the owners of American sports franchises including the New England Patriots.
On June 9, Variety reported that WME-IMG announced a “joint venture” with Sequoia Capital China that would allow WME/IMG to quickly accelerate growth in one of the world’s toughest international markets to penetrate. WME/IMG already has a significant presence in the Chinese market, however, with recent investments in the Chinese Super League and mass athletic competitions such as Tough Mudder.
Now, several weeks later, both CBS and TMZ are reporting that the deal has been officially completed.
Chris Maathuis from CBS took to Twitter just moments ago to confirm that the largest sale in sports history had been finalised.
And TMZ also confirmed that the sale was made for approximately $4 billion.
TMZ confirmed that Dana White will stay on as the UFC President and that the Fertittas brothers will hold a minority interest with a diminished role.
It’s believed Lorenzo Fertitta will step down as CEO. WME company head, Ari Manuel, will wield a lot of power over the organization.
Despite the sale being official, it’s believed the deal will take anywhere between 6 and 8 weeks for the final signatures to be made.
Originally posted by Craziest Sports Fights.