Anyone got an extra $4 billion handy?
According to a report from ESPN on Tuesday, the UFC's owners are in advanced talks to sell the world-wide leading promotion in mixed martial arts. The report states that the company has four bidders who are in the mix to purchase the organization, which has reportedly been valued between $3.5 to $4 Billion.
The groups bidding for the UFC, which is 80 percent owned by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, are WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group.
More from ESPN:
Investment bank Goldman Sachs has been representing Zuffa LLC, which bought the UFC in 2001 for only $2 million. Sources with knowledge of the numbers presented to potential investors said that Goldman Sachs had represented UFC's last full year earnings in the $200 million to $250 million range, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. A new television rights deal, which would begin in 2019, could add an additional $250 million in annual revenue to the bottom line, investors were advised.
The apparent leader in the bid to buy the UFC is Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group. The company's chairman is Wang Jianlin, a guy who in the report is described as the richest man in China. Dude has all the yen, you guys.
The UFC wouldn't publicly comment on the sale talks because that ain't none of your business. Being a private company allows them to keep their financial situation to themselves and without you or me getting all up in bank accounts.
That is until the Las Vegas Review Journal caught up with Dana and he did his typical Dana thing: "The UFC is not for sale. The ESPN story is overblown. Darren Rovell is not a fan of facts. His facts could not be further off.”
UFC President Dana White is also a minority owner of the UFC. So if it sells, he'll get a nice chunk of the money. What we don't know, however, is if his new potential bosses will keep him around. If the sale goes through, maybe Dana should bone up on his Chinese dialects.
(Images via MMAWeekly.com)