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Volume 26 No. 229
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Endeavor Leadership Deals With Fallout Of Calling Off IPO

Endeavor principals felt pulling the plug on its IPO was "far less sickening than watching" its stock open low and then "potentially fall by double digits, stripping hundreds of millions from the company's valuation," according to Kim Masters of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The Endeavor team, led by CEO Ari Emanuel, had been through an "exhausting slog over the previous two weeks: 65 meetings in seven cities to court investors." In the end, they "pulled the plug, opening themselves to recriminations within the agency." One WME agent said of the move, "We were told in the most respectful way possible. And everyone was supportive of the decision." Endeavor Exec Chair Patrick Whitesell, President Mark Shapiro and Emanuel still "made phone calls to staff through the weekend to reassure jittery insiders." Endeavor has used stock to "compensate many employees, who were expecting to cash in after a one-year lockup period ended." Endeavor sources said that the company has "enough cash to service its debt and the failed IPO will crimp potential acquisitions but will not level the company." Some "suggest deconsolidation and layoffs might now be in the cards." As for trying again to go public, a source said that Endeavor will "take a breather and revisit it, perhaps in six months" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 10/2). NBC NEWS' Dylan Byers reports the IPO's failure to launch was "due only in part to a weak market." There is also a "larger problem, which is that the fundamental value of Endeavor's grab-bag of assets isn't all that clear" (NBCNEWS.com, 10/3).