Last month, UFC president Dana White (pictured) denied an ESPN.com report that the UFC was close to selling the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion.
“We’re not for sale,” White stated on The Dan Patrick Show.
However, White admitted that they are all ears if someone approached them with a $4 billion check.
Well, it appears the UFC currently finds themselves in a seller’s dream scenario – there are two parties presently engaged in a bidding war to acquire the UFC with offers in the $4.1 billion range.
ESPN.com is reporting that WME-IMG in conjunction with Dalian Wanda Group, and China Media Capital are both seeking to purchase 100 percent of the UFC. There was chatter last month that the UFC was originally only offering a percentage of the company, not all.
Both parties are trying to solidify investors to completely financing the buyout. WME-IMG is seeking investors to chip in $25-$50 million. One of those investors is reportedly the Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution.
When news first broke in May that the UFC was for sale, Dalian Wanda Group was the rumored early front runners to win the war. They are a Chinese-based conglomerate whose chairman, Wang Jianlin, is the richest man in China with a reported worth of nearly $35 billion.
White declined comment when contacted by ESPN.com.
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, is owned by Lorenzo (pictured) (40.5%) and Frank Fertitta (40.5%), Flash Entertainment (10%) and White (9%). The Fertitta brothers, who made their early money as owners of Las Vegas’ Stations Casino, purchased the UFC in 2001 for just $2 million. Lorenzo Fertitta recently told CNN that the company grossed about $600 million in revenue in 2015.
It is unknown if the new owners would want to retain White as the face of the company if the transaction is compelted.