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Ari’s Deal & Zucker’s Next Steps

Ari Emanuel and Silver Lake are managing the consequences of publicly mulling a sale of Endeavor, and are now trying to keep everything buttoned up as the market waits and salivates.
Ari Emanuel and Silver Lake are managing the consequences of publicly mulling a sale of Endeavor, and are now trying to keep everything buttoned up as the market waits and salivates. Photo: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
William D. Cohan
December 6, 2023

It’s been more than a month since Ari Emanuel announced that his public company, Endeavor Group Holdings, was looking at its strategic alternatives. And only a little less time has passed since Endeavor’s largest shareholder, the private equity behemoth Silver Lake, announced hours later that it was considering buying the rest of the company it didn’t already own—about a third—and taking Endeavor private. This double-barreled act of public relations gave Endeavor’s stock the kind of one-day boost that investors dream about: It moved up some 25 percent. 

In fact, since just before Ari’s announcement, at the end of October, the Endeavor stock is up more than 36 percent after languishing for much of the year. That’s all well and good, and a sign that the market is expecting the deal, which could provide a small liquidity event for both Emanuel and his partner Patrick Whitesell—they’ll likely retain a majority of their stock ownership and re-up their lucrative contracts—and also (to a much smaller extent) their employees and shareholders.