Endeavor Resumes Quest For IPO After 18-Month Break

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Cut to Endeavor IPO, Part 2: The Reimagining.

Endeavor Group Holdings, owner of talent agency WME, sports leagues the UFC and the Professional Bull Riders, production assets and modeling firm IMG, has renewed its quest to go public. The IPO is planned for later this year.

In an SEC filing today, CEO Ari Emanuel made the case for the company’s resilience. “As challenging a year as 2020 was, it underscored the strength, creativity, and resilience of our people who mobilized time and time again in the face of overwhelming odds,” the letter said. “We made difficult decisions but worked as a team to find creative solutions and best position the business for the future.

Endeavor ditched its IPO at the last minute in the fall of 2019 when market conditions deteriorated and the company sensed it might not reach its fundraising goal.

The coronavirus pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the entertainment business, sports and other sectors in 2020, hit Endeavor hard, the company acknowledged. But it “delivered strong revenue growth prior to the impact of Covid-19,” the filing maintained.

In 2020, the company took in just shy of $3.5 billion in revenue, down from $4.6 billion in 2019. On a net basis, the 2020 bottom line showed a loss of $625.3 million but adjusted EBITDA reached $583.6 million, compared with $733.5 million in 2019.

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