Is the UFC about to change hands? According to ESPN, the owners of the MMA promotion is currently in advanced talks to sell for around $4 billion.
The report says that four bidders have submitted bids for UFC, including WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group. The UFC’s valuation is said to be between $3.5 billion and $4 billion.
Despite the report, UFC president Dana White said rumors that the company is on the market is untrue. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week that “the UFC is not for sale.”
“Yeah, we’re not up for sale,” White said again, via “The Dan Patrick Show.” “We’re always working on deals and our expansion globally. I’ve been saying since this thing came out: No, we’re not for sale. But let me tell you what: If somebody shows up with $4 billion, we can talk. We can definitely talk.”
“Obviously, if I’m in the middle of a deal right now, there’s a lot of confidentiality involved in it,” he continued. “We’re working on expanding. We’re working on growing the company and moving it to other territories like China, Japan and Korea. So yeah, we’re always working on deals.”
The companies who are said to be interested have not commented, while a rep for Blackstone tells ESPN they’re not considering a bid.
The UFC is owned by Zuffa, Inc., which bought the organization in 2001 for just $2 million. Last year, sources said the company earned between $200 million to $250 million in revenue. Furthermore, a TV rights deal is set to begin in 2019, would could add an additional $250 million in annual revenue to the bottom line.