WWE Parent Company Endeavor Sells Sports Training School IMG Academy For $1.25 Billion

Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. has sold the IMG Academy to Hong Kong-based equity investment company BPEA EQT in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.25 billion. The deal is expected to close in Q3. Ari Emanuel's company acquired the academy when they purchased sports and entertainment company IMG (International Management Group) in 2014 for $2.4 billion. The news comes three weeks after it was revealed that WWE and Ultimate Fighting Championship would be merging under the Endeavor umbrella to form a new sports and entertainment company. 

IMG Academy is a sports training school based in Bradenton, Florida, that serves the top youth athletes in the United States. It was first established as the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in 1978 before IMG acquired it nine years later, which is when further sports programs were introduced. The academy has trained famous sports stars such as tennis players Andre Agassi, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams.

The academy will now be partnering with BPEA EQT's portfolio organization Nord Anglia Education, which operates over 80 private schools around the globe and has links with other prestigious academic institutions such as MIT and Julliard. It's said that the newly combined private education system will cater to more than 175,000 students. Reacting to the news, Endeavor President and COO Mark Shapiro said, "IMG Academy is in great hands for its next chapter with BPEA EQT."

WWE held a two-day tryout at the IMG Academy late last year with over 30 athletes taking part. Bodybuilder Melanie Brzezenski signed a developmental contract with the promotion after being evaluated by WWE personnel, which included former WWE Champion Big E.