The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) might get new owners soon as there are reports of bids to buy it. Several have bid for the UFC and two of them are close to having it finalized. Official announcement though won’t likely be made until after UFC 200.
According to ESPN, there are two bids that are close to having things finalized. However it would likely not be disclosed as to who would win the bid for ownership of the UFC until after UFC 200. The two groups bidding are the William Morris Endeavor Agency (WME-IMG) along with the Dalian Wanda Group. The other big bid is said to come from China Media Capital.
The WME-IMG is a group that represents artists from various entertainment industries, as sherdog reports. The Dalian Wanda Group is a large Chinese conglomerate that is said to also be the world’s largest cinema chain operator. Ari Emanuel, co-chairman of WME-IMG is said to be asking its investors to give $25 million to $50 million to help fund the investment.
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The WME-IMG and Dalian Wanda Group is said to also include the Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots. Also with them is TenCents Holdings, a China-based company that is said to be one of the largest internet corporations today. China Media Capital meanwhile has been supporting many projects. It has a group of investors from Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Both the WME-IMG/Dalian Wanda Group and China Media Capital are said to have posted around $4.1 billion in bids. UFC President Dana White has not made any comment yet regarding the news.
If the sale pushes through Zuffa Entertainment, owned by brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta along with Dana White, Flash Entertainment and other parties will have to relinquish ownership of the UFC. Sources did say that White might be retained in a promotional role. He might also be given an ownership share.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/ Justin Moore