World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman Vince McMahon appears in the ring during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | GettyImages
World Wrestling Entertainment and Endeavor’s UFC announced last month 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 spokesperson for Endeavor confirmedTuesday. As 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 valued at more than $20 billion.
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will also be the CEO of TKO Group, while Vince McMahon, WWE’s controlling shareholder and longtime boss, will serve as executive chairman of the new company. Endeavor will own a 51% stake, while WWE shareholders will get the remaining 49%.
Emanuel has said he intends to run “the same playbook” with WWE that Endeavor did with the UFC, whose revenue surged 20% from 2021 to 2022.
“We have a track record of success with media rights,” Emanuel said last month. “WWE has a similar scale to the UFC. In the universe of assets at this scale, the opportunity is rare and finite.”
The deal is slated to close in the second half of the year. UFC and WWE will retain their respective names as part of TKO Group.
Despite WWE being scripted and the UFC featuring authentic fights, the two organizations share much in common in terms of their combat sports content and cultures.
“This is going to be UFC 2.0,” Emanuel said in an interview that aired last month on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”