Endeavor Stock Debuts on NYSE, Testing Investors’ Appetite for Independents in Content Business

Endeavor has made its entrance on Wall Street.

Endeavor Group Holdings, home of UFC, WME and IMG, went public on Thursday with its listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol EDR. CEO Ari Emanuel was surrounded by Endeavor staffers as he rang the ceremonial bell to kick off the trading day. Endeavor priced its IPO at $24 with the goal of raising $511 million to more than $550 million.

The company’s first test comes later today when trading activity begins in earnest for the newly listed stock. The $24 share price translates to a $10.6 billion valuation for the company.

Endeavor’s debut will demonstrate the level of investor appetite for an independent content- and event-driven conglomerate that is definitely still in growth mode. Endeavor recorded a net loss of $625 million in 2020 while its debt load stands at of $5.9 billion. By the estimate of the IPO research firm New Constructs, the company has plowed through more than $1 billion in free cash flow per year in recent years.

Endeavor has told Wall Street that it is in banking on the power of its relationship with talent and content creators to drive business across its disparate units, which are largely focused on content and live events. In tandem with the IPO process, Endeavor is in the process of raising about $1.7 billion in order to buy out the remaining 49% stake in UFC that it does not already own. Endeavor is banking big on a windfall of consumer spending on sports and live events again as pandemic conditions ease.

More to come

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