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WME owner confirms IPO plans

By | Published on Tuesday 28 May 2019

The owner of the WME booking agency, Endeavor, has formally confirmed its intention to IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, filing the required paperwork last week with the US Securities & Exchange Commission.

Endeavor owns a range of media, event and talent companies and operates across the wider entertainment business. Talent agency William Morris Endeavor is one of its most famous subsidiaries. In its SEC paperwork, the wider Endeavor group reveals it generated revenues of $3.61 billion last year with net income of $231.3 million.

Other stat brags in the SEC filing include that, in 2018, the company “represented more Academy Award and Grammy winners than any other talent agency … arranged various elements of more than 300 television series that premiered across broadcast, cable and streaming channels, represented over 60% of headliners of the major music festivals in the US, and managed seven of the ten highest paid models according to Forbes”.

In a letter explaining the rationale for the IPO, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel wrote: “As the entertainment industry moves toward a closed ecosystem model with less transparency, our clients and businesses need more insight, resources and solutions than ever before. We believe being a public company will only further accelerate our ability to look around corners and open up new categories and opportunities for those in the Endeavor network”.

The company is yet to disclose how much money it hopes to raise via the stock market listing, though insiders reckon it could seek to secure $500 million with a valuation for the business of over $6 billion.