Although no announcements have been officially made, it appears that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will soon have new owners.
According to Jeremy Botter and FloCombat.com, the UFC has accepted a bid in the amount of $4.2 billion to be sold to the ownership group of WME-IMG, the Dalian Wanda Group, The Kraft Group and Tencent Holdings. The sale is not yet reportedly complete, but the bid has reportedly been accepted.
While this isn’t official, the belief is that the announcement will be held off until after the landmark UFC 200 event on July 9th, as to avoid taking any attention away from what is expected to be one of their biggest events in company history, if not the single biggest one-night event ever.
China Media Capital was also in the running, but their bid was said to be short of what the UFC was looking for in the deal.
Additionally, the Flo Combat article states that in 2015, the UFC’s television partner, FOX, made an offer to buy the promotion. The deal was turned down by the UFC, however, when the offer from FOX came in way under what they were looking for.
The belief is that the majority of the money to broker the deal is being put up by DWG and Tencent Holdings. WMG-IMG and The Kraft Group, however, would serve as the public faces of the group, especially in the North American market.
As noted in our previous report regarding the rumors of a UFC sale, the new owners do intend to keep current UFC President Dana White on in a significant role. White currently owns approximately nine percent of the UFC and his shares will be put up as part of the sale, however the belief is he will be offered a certain amount of shares from the new owners as part of a new deal to keep him aboard.