It’s done. After months of rumors, doubts, denials and questions, the UFC has officially been sold for $4 billion. According to Las Vegas Now, the new ownership includes talent agency WME (William Morris Endeavor), the New York-based sports and entertainment company IMG (International Management Group) and private equity group MSD. To say the UFC is no longer a family-owned business is an understatement.
The shocking, but seemingly inevitable turn of events comes on the heels of the UFC’s historic UFC 200 event, which set Las Vegas records for gate and attendance. Through myriad press in the lead-up to UFC 200, the ownership kept quiet. It was an impressive show of willpower.
Las Vegas Now reports that the majority owner Fertitta brothers will remain with the company for six to eight weeks, with Lorenzo staying on as chairman in that time. Dana White will continue with the company in his current role as president, with the Fertittas and White having a smaller ownership stake.
Not bad for a $2 million investment in 2000. Not bad at all. This is officially the largest sale in the history of sports. To put it in perspective, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion.
How far we’ve come.
(Via Las Vegas Now)