OpenBet owner Endeavor taken private in $13bn deal

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Silver Lake will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares in Endeavor that it does not already own. This is with the exception of rolled interests.

Shareholders in Endeavor will receive $27.50 in cash per share. This is a premium of 55% compared to the $17.72 per share seen at market close on 25 October 2023.

On October 26, Endeavor announced that it had initiated a strategic review. This was to examine the potential of taking the business private. Silver Lake expressed its interest in taking Endeavor private at this time.

The deal’s $13bn equity value combined with the consolidation of TKO’s total value brings the total enterprise value to $25bn.

According to Silver Lake, this makes the acquisition the biggest private equity privatisation investment deal in more than a decade. It is also “the largest ever in the media and entertainment sector”.

When it confirmed its strategic review, Endeavor emphasised that it would not consider selling its interest in TKO Group. Through TKO Group, Endeavor is a majority owner of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, said the deal would improve value for Endeavor shareholders.

“Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today,” said Emanuel.

“We believe this transaction will maximise value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company.”

Another string to Silver Lake’s bow

This isn’t the first time Silver Lake has worked with Endeavor on an acquisition basis.

In August 2022, it acquired Diamond Baseball Holdings – a baseball management and ownership company – from Endeavor. Silver Lake has also made investments in Fanatics Inc.

The investment company also has a wide portfolio outside the gaming industry, owning Airtable, Klarna and Madison Square Garden Entertainment.

Egon Durban, co-CEO and managing partner of Silver Lake and chairman of Endeavor’s board, said taking Endeavor private will allow it to grow further in its operating areas.

“This is a very special partnership,” said Durban. “Together, we have built and grown Endeavor from $350m in annual revenue when we first invested in 2012 to nearly $6bn in consolidated revenue today.

“Now, Endeavor can take advantage of its unique core platform to meet the dynamic forces driving growth in content, sports and live events with bold vision.”

Endeavor keen to continue FY23 success

Endeavor made a strategic move of its own in February, when it announced that it would integrate IMG Arena – its data business – and OpenBet under the OpenBet banner.

The combined business is led by Jordan Levin, OpenBet CEO, who told iGB this represented a natural evolution for the two companies.

In its full-year 2023 results, Endeavor reported $5.96bn in revenue. This was boosted by an 80.3% increase in revenue in its sports data and technology segment. Adjusted EBITDA for FY23 was up 31.1% to $62.7m.

Endeavor’s fourth quarter performance also saw year-on-year improvements, with the sports data and technology segment up 4.7% to $113.5m.

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