WWE had over 60 potential suitors during the process that led to Endeavor deal

Photo Courtesy: Endeavor/WWE/UFC

When WWE pursued options for a sale or merger earlier this year, it had contact with over 60 potential partners.

The detail is one of many in an SEC filing that the company made on Friday. The document is a prospectus for shareholders, which runs to over 500 pages including financial statements and annexes.

On April 3rd, WWE announced that it had reached a deal to merge with The UFC to form a new publicly traded sports and entertainment company under the Endeavor banner.

Friday’s SEC filing lays out how the deal came to be. It states that between January 17th and April 2nd, WWE was in touch with over 60 “potential counterparties.” This included strategic companies, financial sponsors, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds.

Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics has compiled a detailed timeline that shows how the process unfolded.

Between February 6th and March 21st, WWE had signed confidentiality agreements with 20 potential counterparties.

By February 24th, the company appeared to narrow down the list of potential partners to 8, including Endeavor.

WWE received written indications of interest from those 8 potential counterparties on March 13th. Three were interested in acquiring the entire company.

The eventual successful partner, Endeavor, appears to have been among the frontrunners from the beginning of the process.

Endeavor proposed a version of the merger deal as early as February 7th. Its initial offer would have seen WWE holding 43% of the merged company, rather than the 49% that was finally agreed.

Vince McMahon and Nick Khan met Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel and Mark Shapiro on March 1st to discuss that offer. The four men met again three weeks later on March 22nd to discuss revised terms.

On April 1st, day one of WrestleMania 39, the WWE Board met and agreed the Endeavor deal in principle. The next day, the deal was finalized, with the formal announcement made before the New York Stock Exchange opened on Monday, April 3rd.

About Neal Flanagan 775 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, Neal Flanagan is a former newspaper journalist and copy editor. In addition to reporting for POST Wrestling, he co-hosts The Wellness Policy podcast with Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman.