UFC has finally sold after months of speculation. The New York Times reports that the company sold for over $4 billion to a group led by William Morris Endeavor (WME) and International Management Group (IMG).
Financial backers include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Silver Lake and Michael S. Dell's investment firm. They will all become minority owners.
Dana White will reportedly remain in his role as UFC President and will retain a stake in ownership while both Fertitta brothers will also retain a small stake.
When asked if fans should be concerned, White told ESPN:
"Exact opposite. Sport is going to the next level."
Lorenzo Fertitta, who is stepping down as CEO, said in a statement:
"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. Most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes."
WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell also commented:
"We've been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes. 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."
Stay tuned for more updates...
777, THECHAMPISHERE, Bob Lendzinski, damien demento and Tweener contributed to this article. Follow Marc Middleton on Twitter at @this_is_marc. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.