Endeavor Group Holdings Inc’s, the U.S. entertainment and events company led by Hollywood power broker Ari Emanuel, saw its shares edge higher on their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday, valuing the company at $10.5 billion.
The debut was Endeavor’s second attempt to go public after it abandoned plans to float its shares just a day before its planned initial public offering in 2019 due to lackluster demand.
“We re-engaged, strategized and re-segmented the company, and I think we have a cleaner and simpler narrative driven by an incredible roster of institutional investors who are extremely strategic,” President Mark Shapiro said in an interview.
At 1:39 pm eastern time, shares of the Beverly Hills, California-based were trading at $24.48, slightly above $24 per share IPO price on Wednesday. The stock had opened at $27.
The company’s listing comes in the middle of a bull run in U.S. capital markets, where a number of richly valued startups like cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global and South Korea’s Amazon equivalent Coupang have gone public.
Endeavor, which recently named Tesla Inc chief Elon Musk to its board, caters to a star-studded client base, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, through its talent agency, WME.
It has also financed movies including “La La Land” and “Just Mercy.”
Following the listing, Endeavor plans to buy the remaining 49.9% stake in the Ultimate Fighting Championship from private-equity firms KKR and Silver Lake. It bought the controlling stake from casino moguls Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta in 2016.
“Bringing the UFC in full ownership is something that is clearly resonating with the market,” Shapiro said.
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