Yesterday FloCombat, one of the leading MMA websites, claimed it have received confirmation from multiple sources that Zuffa had accepted a $4.2 billion offer to sell the UFC.
Rumours of a possible sale have been circulating in the MMA world since the turn of the year. In fact back in May we reported on the story. At the time ESPN’s business reporter Darren Rovell claimed he had reliable information that there were as many as four separate bidders. Rovell also claimed Zuffa had enlisted the help of the Raine Group Investment Bank to actively provide company information to any prospective suitors.
When the prospect of selling was put to UFC President Dana White at the time he refused to rule it out, instead he insisted that if an offer of around $4 billion was tabled they may be willing to talk.
FloCombat maintains that valuation has been met by a conglomerate of bidders; White will sell his shares but stay on as President and the face of the company. Former Man City Chief Executive Garry Cook is said to be selected as the company’s incoming CEO.
UFC legend Randy Couture has weighed in, backing up the legitimacy of the rumours but is against White staying on as President. Couture insists the company needs “a change of image”, he also called into question the treatment of fighters under White’s regime. This won’t surprise avid MMA fans as White and Couture have been butting heads for years, time has only served to embitter their relationship further.
There have been reports of the rumour being quashed by a UFC spokesperson. An internal email to staff supposed to serve as evidence the company wasn’t changing hands. Hmmm…if I was about to make a 2400% percent profit on an investment and going public could potentially jeopardise it, I’d be trying to keep it under my hat too.