UFC may be under new ownership soon. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the company’s owners — Zuffa LLC, which purchased UFC in 2001 for $2 million — are in “advanced talks” to sell their business.
While UFC won’t go on the record with anything due to its standing as a privately-owned company, ESPN reports that there are “at least four bidders” who are trying to purchase the company.
At least four bidders are believed to have submitted bids for the organization, including WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group. The winning bid, should things proceed, is expected to be for a valuation between $3.5 billion and $4 billion, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPN.com.
ESPN’s report says that Dalian Wanda Group is the current leader to purchase UFC. That group’s chairman is Wang Jianlian, who is worth $35 billion and is the richest man in China. The report also points out that this would be the latest venture into sports for Dalian Wanda Group, which purchased a 20 percent stake in Atletico Madrid of Spain’s La Liga last year.
These are all still rumors, but it sounds like there could be something to this report. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Whether or not Dana would reveal that they are for sale is up for debate. The UFC sold a 10% stake of the company to Abu Dhabi in 2010, and rumors have been circulating for years that they’re “just looking for the right buyer.”