Rumors of a UFC sale has been circulating for two months, and while the company denied any such reports, it was all true.
The UFC has been sold for $4 billion in a deal announced Monday (July 11) — the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history.
Talent agency WME-IMG is partnering with its owner Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Michael Dell’s investment firm MSD Capital to acquire the MMA company.
UFC president Dana White has adamantly denied the company was up for sale, but confirmed the news to ESPN over the weekend, while saying that fans should not be concerned about the change in ownership.
“Exact opposite,” White said. “Sport is going to the next level.”
Brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta bought the organization in 2000 for $2 million.
In 2015, chairman Lorenzo Fertitta told CNN that the organization took in about $600 million in revenues, making the $4 billion sale prices around seven times its gross revenue.
Lorenzo will step down as part of the deal, although the brothers will retain a minority interest. White, who owned 9 percent of UFC, will stay on and be given a stake in the new business.
According to ESPN, the Abu Dhabi government still owns 10 percent of UFC as well.