Other Sport

UFC sold for $4 billion

2016-07-11 13:34
Dana White (Getty Images)

Los Angeles - The UFC has been sold for approximately $4 billion to a group led by Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the sale of the mixed martial arts promotional company in text messages on Sunday night.

White will stay on to run the UFC, which has grown from a money-losing promotion in a minor sport into a global entertainment brand. UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta came out of the deal with only a minority interest.

The New York Times first reported the completion of the long-rumored deal. It has financial backing from private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, which owns WME-IMG, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, along with the investment firm of billionaire Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers.

The Fertitta brothers and White purchased the promotion for $2 million in 2001. With White as the promotional face and Lorenzo Fertitta as its chairperson, the Las Vegas-based UFC was kept afloat by the Fertitta's casino fortune while MMA gained widespread acceptance and increasing popularity.

The UFC was founded in 1993 as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, staging violent fights that were banned or unregulated in most areas. After the Fertitta brothers and White took over, they steadily built their company and MMA into a thriving sport with ever-increasing worldwide appeal, using cable television and the internet to get it in front of young fans.

The promotion now boasts a stable of fighters with mainstream fame, including Conor McGregor, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, who is represented by WME.

On Saturday night, the promotion staged UFC 200 in its hometown. The event drew 18 202 fans to T-Mobile Arena and took in $10.8 million in ticket sales, both Nevada records for the company.

Read more on:    ufc

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.