Dana White still owns a small percentage of the UFC, but that number will decrease further when a WME-IMG investment deal is finalized later this month.
Dana White is expected to lose some of his ownership stake in the UFC, but according to him, that won’t affect his future as the company’s president.
WME-IMG and its primary stakeholder Silver Lake Partners, following a report from TheWrap, announced last week that a $1.1 billion investment from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Government of Singapore Investment Fund is nearly finalized. Already limited partners of Silver Lake Partners, the two groups will join Silver Lake Partners as WME-IMG strategic partners.
The deal is expected to close later this month.
WME-IMG, a talent agency headed by ceo-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, is expected to use the $1.1 billion investment to buy out UFC minority stakeholders. Per The Los Angeles Times, this includes “banks, investors in the United Arab Emirates (Flash Entertainment, which has held a 10-percent stake in the UFC since 2010), former owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and White himself.”
WME-IMG will also use the money, which will boost its value from a 2016 valuation of $5.5 billion to an estimated $6.3 billion, to make other acquisitions, per TheWrap.
Despite the fact White will have an even smaller stake in the mixed martial arts organization he has helped grow to a multi-billion dollar empire over the past 16 years, he told The Los Angeles Times that he won’t be going anywhere.
“I’m not going anywhere,” White said. “Not only am I not going anywhere, I’m actually making moves in the office and doing [stuff] and changing things for the way I really want it.”
WME-IMG bought the UFC in July 2016 for just over $4 billion. White remained president, while Lorenzo Fertitta stepped down as CEO. Before the sale, White held a nine-percent minority stake in the UFC. After signing a new five-year contract with WME-IMG, it’s no longer clear what amount of the promotion he currently owns. But separate from his ownership stake deal, he is reportedly set to take home nine percent of the UFC’s net profits until 2021.