The most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history.
After denying those claims up until UFC 200, Dana White and co have finally confirmed that the UFC, which they originally bought for $2 million in 2001, has indeed sold for $4B.
Talent agency WME-IMG has partnered with Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the investment firm of Michael Dell, to become the new owners of the rapidly growing UFC.
"We've been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes," WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell said in a statement. "It's been exciting to watch the organization's incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team. We're now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport's continued growth and success on a global scale."
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the $4 billion selling price is the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history.
Despite the change in ownership, which will reportedly go into effect next month, Dana White wants the fans to know that this is merely the next step in taking the sport to the next level.
As part of the deal, the Fertitta's will step down from their position, but they will retain a minority interest. White, who owned 9 percent of UFC, will stay with the company and be given a stake of the new business.
"We're confident that the new ownership team of WME-IMG, with whom we've built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC's global growth," Fertitta said in a statement. "Most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes."