World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman Vince McMahon appears in the ring during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center on August 24, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images
World wrestling entertainment and Endeavor’s UFC announced last month that they would merge later this year. Now we know the name of the combined company.
The new operation will be called TKO Group Holdings, a spokesman said Adventure confirmed Tuesday. If previously announced, it will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker TKO. The name is a reference to the professional fighting term ‘technical knockout’.
With the deal, Endeavor and WWE hope to create a sports entertainment giant worth more than $20 billion.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will also become the CEO of TKO Group, while Vince McMahon, WWE’s controlling shareholder and longtime boss, will serve as the new company’s executive chairman. Endeavor will get a 51% stake, while WWE shareholders will get the remaining 49%.
Emanuel has said he plans to use “the same playbook” with WWE that Endeavor did with UFC, whose revenues are up 20% between 2021 and 2022.
“We have a track record of success with media rights,” said Emanuel last month. “WWE is on a similar scale to UFC. In the universe of assets at this scale, the opportunity is rare and finite.”
The deal should be completed in the second half of the year. UFC and WWE will retain their respective names as part of TKO Group.
While WWE is scripted and UFC features authentic fights, the two organizations have a lot in common in terms of their martial arts content and cultures.
“This will be UFC 2.0,” Emanuel said in an interview that aired last month on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”