Beginning in the third quarter, with its cash position improved thanks to a large asset sale and in anticipation of the planned merger of UFC and WWE, Endeavor plans to pay cash dividends of up to $25 million, repurchase up to $300 million in shares, and pay down $50 million more in debt.
The sales of the corporation increased to $1.6 billion for the quarter that ended in March, which is an increase from the $1.47 billion recorded the previous year. As a result of increased expenditures and expenses, as well as the sale of Endeavor Content in January 2022, the company’s net income fell from $517 million to $36 million.
Since then, the firm has made several acquisitions and disposals of assets, and in April it announced two big transactions: the first was a merger between UFC and WWE that would result in the formation of a new publicly traded company, and the second was a transaction to sell IMG Academy for an enterprise value of $1.25 billion, which will be finalized soon.
The dividend is the first one distributed by Endeavor since the company went public in April 2021. The distribution on a per-share basis was not specified. Last week, in the midst of a challenging period for the media industry, Paramount Global made the announcement that it would reduce its dividend payout by 80%, a decision that would result in savings of $500 million per year for the company.
The UFC and WWE professional wrestling extravaganza is currently seeking approval from the relevant authorities, and the parties involved are hoping to finalize the deal within the fourth quarter. Endeavor will own half of the brand-new company.
WWE Chief Operating Officer Nick Khan has stated that the league does not use WGA writers, so the strike that began a week ago will not have an effect on the league.
“This quarter, we continued to deliver solid results and set a number of financial and attendance records across our owned sports properties and marquee events,” Emanuel said in the earnings release. “Our agreement to sell IMG Academy, together with the planned share repurchase and quarterly dividend announced today, are strong examples of our commitment to maximizing return for our shareholders. We are excited about the unique opportunity the proposed combination of UFC and WWE presents, and remain focused on durable growth as we continue to execute our successful strategy in content and experiences.”
With the addition of OpenBet, which Endeavor bought in September 2022, and development at IMG Arena, Endeavor has announced for the first time a new fourth division known as Sports Data & Technology, which brought in revenue that increased by 124% to reach $101 million. The costs associated with IMG Arena led to a 31% decline in operating income, which came in at $4.5 million.
Emanuel will take over as CEO following the UFC and WWE merger. Since taking over his father’s enterprise and relaunching it in the 1980s, Vince McMahon has been serving as its business head and ring emcee for decades. He will now serve as executive chair of the board of the new entity, which he will help establish. UFC President Dana White will remain in that role moving forward.
Both McMahon and White have been the subject of intense scrutiny over the course of the past year. McMahon resigned from his position as executive chairman of WWE in January after stepping away from the company during an investigation into various allegations of sexual misconduct. White and his wife got into a fight that was caught on camera.