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Endeavor to launch IPO this Friday

Endeavor, the talent agency and sports and entertainment group that owns talent management company IMG, is to issue its highly-anticipated initial public offering on Friday.

The Endeavor shares are to be traded under the ‘EDR’ symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

A 31-minute video featuring chief executive Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell was released by the group to attract the attention of potential investors.

A total of 19.35 million shares are to be offered at launch and priced between $30 (€27.28) and $32 per share.

Details of the offering were recently released in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Endeavor, which is carrying long-term debt of $4.6bn, expects to raise upwards of $600m during the IPO process.

Speaking during the video obtained by entertainment website Deadline, chief financial officer Jason Lublin said: “We’re going public to be more nimble and responsive for our clients and for us, and to give us capital and currency for M&A, which has and will continue to be central to our strategy.”

Endeavor’s IPO is expected to value the company at between $7.9bn and $8.3bn, depending on the final price of the stock.

After filing the necessary IPO paperwork in May, it was initially expected that Endeavor would list on the New York Stock Exchange by August, but the IPO was subsequently delayed. It was reported that Endeavor was first looking to finalise its acquisition of On Location Experiences, the hospitality, ticketing and live events company, for around $675m.

Last month, Endeavor reported first-half revenues of $2.05bn and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $249.7m, as the effect of a trio of hefty football media-rights contracts was felt. The financial results, as reported by SportBusiness, particularly highlighted the impact of IMG’s international media-rights distribution deals for Serie A, LaLiga and the FA Cup, with all three contracts beginning at the start of the 2018-19 season.

Endeavor’s operations are split into three main divisions: Entertainment and Sports (including rights trading); Representation (of talent); and Endeavor X (the direct-to-consumer and business-to-business streaming services).

The Entertainment and Sports segment comfortably generates the highest slice of revenues, and posted $1.33bn in first-half revenues, a 46.4-per-cent year-on-year rise.

Approximately $352m of the total $422.4m increase was attributable to the sale of media rights – chiefly through the trio of football rights contracts – but also the media rights and residential pay-per-view contracts between the Endeavor-owned UFC and US sports broadcaster ESPN. Growth at IMG Arena, IMG’s betting business, plus owned events and sports production were also credited for the overall revenue rise.

First-half adjusted Ebitda at the Entertainment and Sports segment was $187.6m, up 9.8 per cent on the figure posted 12 months earlier.

Endeavor acquired IMG for $2.3bn in 2013 and then went on buy UFC in 2016 for an initial $3.8bn.