As noted, WWE stock was up almost 5% today, closing at $20.46. While the U.S. market was up in general, part of the reason that WWE stock jumped so much today is because of the news this morning that the UFC was sold for $4 billion. The company was sold to WME | IMG, with Silver Lake Partners and KKR joining them as new strategic investors, along with MSD Capital, L.P. and MSD Partners, L.P. which will provide preferred equity financing.
"Although we view this as an interesting exercise in determining the potential value of WWE — in our opinion, Chairman Vince McMahon is NOT selling the company anytime soon," Katz wrote today, via The Wrap. "But with positive Network sub trends, a clean balance sheet, new TV rights deals just 2-3 years out, and now a clear sign of demand for somewhat similar content, we are raising our valuation range to $23-25 from $20-22."
"It's important to point out that there were several bidders for the UFC, with reports that this included the Dalian Wanda Group and China Media Capital," Katz continued. "The point here is that content in the realm of sports has substantial value due to its live viewership — and WWE's weekly shows are predominantly viewed live."