In addition to the UFC 200 event on July 9th, the world-renowned Mixed Martial Arts organization has another highly-watched event: an acquisition event, that is.
MMA entertainment franchise Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be bought by talent agency WME-IMG in a transaction a source valued at $4 billion, reflecting its increasing popularity.
UFC was originally purchased in 2001 by the Fertitta brothers for a miniscule $2 million, through their holding company Zuffa LLC. Since then, the company has been transformed into a multi-billion dollar juggernaut with a diversified revenue base including Pay-per-view and ‘Fight Pass’ , UFC fight events, and a gym licensing program.
According to Yahoo finance, UFC is one of the largest, fastest-growing sports brands in the world, especially with the millennial demographic.The company produces over 40 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world, broadcast in over 156 countries and territories.
WME-IMG is a talent agency that is building its portfolio in order to become a content & entertainment organization. According to the New York Times, the deal represents the largest acquisition to date by WME-IMG, a talent agency formed in a 2013 merger of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and IMG Worldwide. WME-IMG has a track record involving some splashy acquisitions: Last year, the company acquired the Miss Universe organization from Donald Trump, and rodeo-events company Professional Bull Riders.