Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel speaking on stage

Endeavor's IPO Date Is Coming—Is the Second Time a Charm?

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Apr. 1 2021, Published 12:02 p.m. ET

After a rough year for in-person events, Endeavor has reportedly gotten back on its feet. CEO Ari Emanuel is the face of a company. Endeavor withdrew its IPO at the end of 2020, but the entertainment holding group is coming back with brute force.

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Not only is Endeavor's IPO on the horizon once again, but it has made some corporate decisions that could go a long way for the brand. 

Endeavor's latest SEC filing shows that it's buying UFC in full.

endeavor

In Endeavor's latest registration statement with the SEC, the company announced that it's buying UFC to the tune of 100 percent controlling rights. This is up from the 50.1 percent majority stake it held previously. In 2016 (at the time of the initial key investment in UFC), Endeavor valued the stake at $4 billion. Now, it's filling out the remainder with a $1.7 billion investment and showcasing a loss in value for UFC that likely correlates with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Endeavor also lost money. In 2020, the company's net losses hit 625.3 million, but its revenue was at $3.478 billion. Endeavor's debt by the end of the year was at a new high of $5.9 billion. 

Elon Musk joins Endeavor's board along with Fawn Weaver.

endeavor

Endeavor is restructuring its business outlook in one fell swoop. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk is joining the company's board of directors. This is big news for a few reasons. First, Musk is a major market influencer. He isn't the only one nominated for the director role. Fawn Weaver, a noteworthy historian and investor, has also been nominated.

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Why Endeavor restarted its publicly-traded journey

Some industries took a greater fall during the COVID-19 pandemic, and entertainment was one of them. Unfortunately for Endeavor, entertainment is at the pith of its operation. You can see the fluctuation in the numbers themselves. Where Endeavor raked in $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020, it brought in just a fraction of that, or $462.9 million, in the second quarter.

Ultimately, Endeavor withdrew its initial IPO to get a chance to restructure, which it seems to have done successfully. Having full control over UFC as well as new, noteworthy board members will likely do Endeavor a lot of good. It shows investors that the company isn't afraid to shift its focus when necessary. 

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Endeavor's IPO plans for the future

Endeavor plans to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "EDR." The company hasn't divulged the pricing terms for its Class A common shares. It's interesting that the company filed the documents publicly instead of confidentially, which shows a level of transparency for institutional and retail investors.

Endeavor expects to go through with its IPO later this year.

Going public doesn't always go as planned, which Endeavor knows firsthand. However, it's worth noting that the company intentionally chose to withdraw the IPO to improve its chances of raising funds and succeeding in the market. Companies like WeWork? That wasn't so much a choice as a push out of the market, if only influenced by wildly negative sentiment.

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