Talent Agency Endeavor Reprises Its IPO, with a Role for Elon Musk

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Talent Agency Endeavor Reprises Its IPO, with a Role for Elon Musk

Endeavor, the entertainment conglomerate helmed by Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel, filed again to go public on Wednesday.

The move is a reprise of the company's plan to IPO in 2019, which it abandoned at the last minute, citing poor performance of other recently-IPO'd firms like Uber, Lyft and Peloton.

This time, the company is entering a market that has reached record highs and seen a flurry of new members to the ranks of public ownership.

Also different this time around is one of the company's managers: Elon Musk, who is listed on the filing as a "Director Nominee."

Endeavor owns just over half of UFC, but it's putting together a $1.8 billion package of private equity funding to purchase the remainder, according to its filing, which is conditional on the IPO coming to fruition.

The company's vast portfolio also includes the talent agency William Morris Endeavor and IMG, which produces and manages sports and live events around the globe.

According to the filing, Endeavor made $3.5 billion in 2020, resulting in a net loss of $625.3 million. That followed a better pre-pandemic 2019, which brought in $4.6 billion in revenue and a net loss of $530.7 million. Twenty percent of Endeavor's 2019 revenue came from its sports holdings (UFC, Professional Bull Riding and Euroleague Basketball); 43% from its events business and 36% from its talent agency.

Endeavor was founded in 1995 exclusively as a talent agency, and then merged with William Morris Agency in 2009. The company acquired IMG in 2014 and its UFC stake in 2016.

The 2019 offering was slated to issue 15 million shares at $27 each for an initial take of about $400 million. For this offering, which is expected to occur later this year, Endeavor still has not priced the IPO.


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S.C. Stuart
S.C. Stuart is a foreign correspondent (ELLE China, Esquire Latin America), Contributing Writer at Ziff Davis PCMag, and consults as a futurist for Hollywood Studios. Previously, S.C. was the head of digital at Hearst Magazines International while serving as a Non-Executive Director, UK Trade & Investment (US) and Digital Advisor at The Smithsonian.
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