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WME owner Endeavor says it is considering 'strategic alternatives' amid stock slump

Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel, fourth left, rings the NYSE opening bell, to celebrate his company's IPO
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel, fourth left, rings the NYSE opening bell to celebrate his company's IPO in 2021. (Courtney Crow / Associated Press)

Beverly Hills-based entertainment company Endeavor, owner of Hollywood talent agency WME, on Wednesday disclosed that it is examining "strategic alternatives," saying its stock price doesn't accurately reflect the value of its assets.

“Given the continued dislocation between Endeavor’s public market value and the intrinsic value of Endeavor’s underlying assets, we believe an evaluation of strategic alternatives is a prudent approach to ensure we are maximizing value for our shareholders,” said Endeavor Chief Executive Ariel Emanuel in a regulatory filing.

Endeavor stock closed at $17.72 a share on Wednesday, down about 2%. When Endeavor went public in 2021, shares opened at $27 on the New York Stock Exchange and had an issuing price of $24. After the filing, the stock jumped 26% in after-hours trading.

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Also on Wednesday, investment firm Silver Lake, which is an Endeavor shareholder, said it is working toward a plan to take Endeavor private. Silver Lake says it owns 71% of the voting power of Endeavor. It has been an Endeavor investor since 2012.

"Silver Lake firmly believes in Endeavor’s business and is not interested in selling its shares in Endeavor to a third-party nor in entertaining bids for assets that are a part of Endeavor," the firm said in a statement.

Endeavor is the majority owner of TKO Group Holdings, the result of a merger between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Wrestling Entertainment. TKO went public last month and Endeavor has a 51% controlling stake in the company. Endeavor said its ownership in TKO is not up for sale. Endeavor bought a majority stake of UFC in 2016.

The company said it has not set a definitive timetable for its review process and did not share details on what strategic alternatives it would consider.

Endeavor owns a variety of businesses, including talent agency WME, live event business On Location, sports league Professional Bull Riders and marketing agency 160over90.

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"The Company does not intend to comment further regarding the review of strategic alternatives until it determines disclosure is necessary or advisable," Endeavor said in its filing.

A representative for Endeavor declined to comment.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.