As Elon Musk prepares to host “Saturday Night Live” this week, the company whose board he joined in March just went public.
Endeavor, owner of the UFC, hit the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday through an initial public offering.
In addition to UFC, Endeavor owns the Hollywood agency WME and modeling agency IMG. Its CEO, Ari Emanuel, was the inspiration for Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage.
UFC restarted competitions soon after the initial lockdowns in 2020 and hosted a full-capacity, indoor fight night last month. UFC president Dana White has been vocal about getting back to “normal.”
Endeavor, which currently owns 50.1% of UFC, plans to buy the rest of it, according to SEC filings.
The stock surged after its initial open, and has attracted the attention of the WallStreetBets Reddit forum — famous for its leading role in driving up the price of GameStop earlier this year. By close of business on Friday, Endeavor stock had risen 15% from its opening price of $24 to $27.56.
The company brought in more than $500 million through the IPO, and raised another $1.7 billion through a separate private placement. The company lost $625 million last year due to the pandemic despite $3.5 billion in revenue.
Endeavor almost went public in 2019, but pulled back due to limited interest at the time.
The company will likely be opportunistic with future acquisitions, eyeing events, media, and marketing companies.