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OpenBet owner Endeavor has entered into an agreement to be taken private in a $13bn deal led by long-term investor Silver Lake.

Under the terms of the agreement, Silver Lake will purchase 100% of outstanding shares in the business.

The $27.50 per share offer values Endeavor at $8.2bn, or at a $13bn equity value including the company’s debts.

Endeavor announced in October it was exploring “strategic alternatives”, including the possibility of a full sale.

At the time Silver Lake – Endeavor’s long-time financial backer and owner of around 71% of voting shares – said it was working towards a proposal to take the business private.

This led to an approximate 33% increase in the company’s stock price over the subsequent days to around $24.00 per share.

Public offering sees limited success

The business went public on the NYSE in April 2023. The move is considered to have achieved limited success with markets failing to reflect the sports entertainment giant’s fast-paced revenue growth.

CEO Ariel Emanuel highlighted a disconnect between Endeavor’s public market value and the intrinsic value of its assets in a statement accompanying the announcement of the strategic review.

The resulting combined entity will have a total enterprise value of $25bn, making this the largest ever private equity sponsored public-to-private transaction undertaken in the media and entertainment sector, according to the business.

“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 CEO 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.”

The TKO Holdings subsidiary, formed following the merger of UFC parent company Zuffa and WWE in 2023, will continue to be publicly traded.

“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,” said Endeavor chairman and Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban.

“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.

“Consistent with our mission and underscored by this commitment being among the largest in Silver Lake’s history, we are all in on working with the Endeavor team and our trusted anchor investors to create value by accelerating growth at scale.”

Endeavor expands in sports betting space

The sports entertainment conglomerate acquired OpenBet from Light & Wonder in an $800m deal back in September 2022.

This followed the 2014 addition of sports content and data business IMG Arena to the company’s portfolio, as part of Silver Lake and Endeavour’s $2.3bn acquisition of IMG Entertainment.

Endeavor announced in February it would be combining both the sports betting technology provider and its IMG Arena business under the OpenBet brand.

“With Silver Lake’s continued partnership and support, Endeavor is ideally positioned to capitalise on compelling trends in media and entertainment, where global content spending has reached more than $200bn per year,” said Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell.

“In a business where the only constant is change, I know Endeavor will continue to lead the industry forward.”

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