Endeavor shares soar 25% as US agency owner Silver Lake explores options

US agency Endeavor could become a private company again after its majority owner said it is considering “strategies” to deliver greater value to shareholders, a move that sent the company’s share price soaring 25%.

Endeavour finally went public in 2021 following an aborted attempt in 2019, but the company has seen its share price decline from a high of almost $35 in December 2021 to just $17.72 yesterday, prior to the news.

US investor Silver Lake, which holds a 71% stake in the Ari Emanuel-led firm, confirmed on Wednesday it is “currently working toward making a proposal to take Endeavor private.”

Its statement continued: “Silver Lake firmly believes in Endeavor’s business and is not interested in selling its shares in Endeavor to a third-party nor in entertaining bids for assets that are a part of Endeavor.”

The statement came after Emanuel admitted he was looking at “strategic alternatives” to its public status.

“Given the continued dislocation between Endeavor’s public market value and the intrinsic value of Endeavor’s underlying assets, we believe an evaluation of strategic alternatives is a prudent approach to ensure we are maximising value for our shareholders,” he said.

Aside from holding sway over Endeavor’s voting rights, Silver Lake’s co-CEO Egon Durban and MD Stephen Evans also sit on the agency’s board.

Unscripted push & soaring shares

The move sent shares soaring 25% in after-hours trading to almost $22 each, giving the company an enterprise valuation of $14bn, according to the Financial Times.

Endeavor’s fortunes have fluxed over recent years, with the Hollywood firm selling its production interests two years ago to South Korea’s CJ ENM, following a long-running dispute with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) that argued the agency’s growing focus on production was not in the best interests of talent on its books.

The slimmed down Endeavor has since been increasing its unscripted activity, recently taking a minority stake in LA-based Velvet Hammer Media, which was launched by former HBO Max execs Jennifer O’Connell and Rebecca Quinn.

That came six months after Endeavor acquired Asylum Entertainment Group – the parent company of production companies The Content Group, Texas Crew Productions, Big City TV, Breaklight Pictures, and Audity.

Most recently, Endeavor split its Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment arms into a separate company, TKO Group, but Emanuel said yesterday it would not sell its interest in the newly forged martial arts-focused firm.

US agency ownership has been in flux recently, with Gucci owner François Henri-Pinault’s Artémis recently acquiring a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency (CAA), valuing the Hollywood operator at around $7bn.


Read Next