Mixed Martial Arts promotion the UFC has been sold for $4 billion, the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history.
Talent agency WME-IMG have partnered with its owner Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, to take over the company. They have purchased the company from brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta who bought the organization in 2000 for just $2 million.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) July 12, 2016
“We’re confident that the new ownership team of WME-IMG, with whom we’ve built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC’s global growth,” Lorenzo Fertitta said in a statement. “Most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes.”
Lorenzo Fertitta will step down as CEO, but both brothers will remain involved in the promotion and retain a minority stake. Chairman Dana White, who owned nine per cent of the UFC, will continue in his role and has been given a new stake in the company.
“We’ve been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes,” WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell said in a statement. “It’s been exciting to watch the organization’s incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team. We’re now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport’s continued growth and success on a global scale.”