When the UFC started trying to gain a more “mainstream” image for the sport, in particular with their controversial deal with Reebok, a lot of people said that this was the UFC’s way of prepping the business to be sold. The UFC has been reaching more people than ever before over the past few yearts, thanks in huge part to stars like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.
The UFC is definitely on a hot-streak lately in terms of popularity and PPV sales, and the owners are looking to cash out. It’s a perfect time, and it seems like they’ve been preparing for this for years.
In 2001, they bought the company for a mere $2 million dollars… now the UFC is working with investment bankers Goldman Sachs and they’re in “advanced talks” to sell the business for 4 BILLION. Not a bad return on investment at all. The Fertitta brothers are both worth an estimated 1.6 billion dollars, mainly from their casino business, and if they were to fetch 4 billion for the UFC then their networths would skyrocket.
Dana While also has a 10% stake in the UFC, which would get him a cool $400 million, which would also roughly double his reported net worth. It’s unclear if Dana would hold on to his stake and remain on as the company’s president if the UFC is sold, or if he would be selling his shares as well.
According to ESPN, the leading bidder at the moment is the Dalain Wanda group. Their chairman is the richest man in China, his name is Wang Jianlin. This group also just recently purchased Legendary Entertainment, making them the first Chinese company that has purchased a major American motion picture studio.
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