Dana White confirms UFC sale, optimistic about future
UFC president Dana White has confirmed that the organization has been sold for approximately $4 billion to a group headed by talent agency WME/IMG.
White states that while he would remain with the company, the new group bought the shares of the company owned by Frank Fertitta (40.5 percent), Lorenzo Fertitta (40.5 percent) and White (9 percent).
The sale is expected to close before UFC 202 on August 20.
The Abu Dhabi-based Flash Entertainment, which purchased 10 percent of the UFC in 2010, will reportedly keep its share for now. White will remain as an owner, president and head of day-to-day operations and the Fertittas have a minority interest in the new company, but he could not disclose specifics.
“I’m obviously bummed about not being in business with my best friend [Lorenzo Fertitta] and my partners of 20 years,” White said. “I am happy about the future of the UFC, the sport and my role moving forward.”
In 2001, White and the Fertitta brothers purchased the company for $2 million from Semaphore Entertainment Group.
At that point, both Fertittas had 45 percent at White had 10 percent. In 2010, the Fertitta brothers sold 9 percent and White 1 percent when they brought in Flash Entertainment.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that the WME/IMG group also included private equity firms Silver Lake and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and an investment company owned by Dell Computers founder Michael Dell.
WME/IMG is not expected to play an active role in running the company.