Friday 30 September 2016

UFC owners in talks to sell company for a truly astronomical amount of money - report

Published 11/05/2016 | 08:02

Conor McGregor, right, grabs the title belt from Jose Aldo during a fan event. The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Conor McGregor, right, grabs the title belt from Jose Aldo during a fan event. The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Dana White and the UFC ownership group are known for being shrewd businessmen but one financial reporter has them down to possibly make an eye-watering sum in the near future.

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ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell yesterday published a story saying the fight promotion is in 'advanced talks' to sell the company, with four potential buyers currently in a bidding war.

ESPN also reported that the expected valuation of the company is set to be between €3bn-€3.5bn. The UFC is owned by brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who control 80% of the organisation. UFC President Dana White is also a minority owner.

If the brothers sold the company for the reported valuation, it would net them an astonishing amount of profit - they bought the UFC through the company Zuffa LLC for just €1.75m in 2001.

The company's value has skyrocketed since, in large part due to the emergence of highly marketable stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.

Dana White looked to downplay rumours of a potential sale yesterday, telling the Las Vegas Review Journal that the report was way off base, but the ESPN reporter hit back on Twitter saying he had four sources who told him that the company had engaged with investment banks to explore the possibility.

This year is set to be the company's biggest yet, with the marquee UFC 200 card coming up in July as well as the return of the aforementioned duo later in the year.

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