Sources: UFC To Distribute $300M Dividend Among Investors
UFC has approved a $300M dividend to its investors -- a "star-studded list that includes" Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Gisele Bundchen, Ben Affleck, and Serena and Venus Williams, according to sources cited by Alexandra Steigrad of the N.Y. POST. Roughly half of the $300M "will go to Endeavor," which bought a 50% stake in UFC in '16 for $4B. Sources said that Wahlberg is "slated to nab a roughly half-million dividend," while Bundchen is "on track to get $145,000." Steigrad notes other beneficiaries include UFC President Dana White, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and Endeavor Exec Chair Patrick Whitesell. Sources said that they are each "slated to pocket" more than $3M. Sources added that UFC private equity backers KKR and Silverlake, which own a 42% stake in Endeavor, also will "cash in." The payments will leave UFC with just $50M "as it faces new MMA rivals and allegations by fighters that they're underpaid compared to athletes of other major sports teams." The $300M dividend follows Endeavor's "failed effort" to raise $600M "through an initial public offering last fall." Endeavor President Mark Shapiro "denies that the payment has anything to do with the flopped IPO, calling it a 'normal course of business' after an 'incredible year' at UFC." But sources said that the dividend is "directly tied to Endeavor having yanked its IPO" (N.Y. POST, 2/14).