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Endeavor files for IPO as Elon Musk is named to its board

Endeavor Group has filed for an preliminary public providing, braving the influence of a coronavirus pandemic that has wiped almost one-quarter off the media group’s revenues since its final try to go public was aborted in 2019.

Elon Musk, the Tesla chief government whose fractious relationship with Wall Street has generally introduced him into battle with US securities regulators, is to be part of the leisure group’s board.

Founded in 1995 by Hollywood impresario Ari Emanuel, Endeavor recorded income of $3.5bn final yr from companies starting from the Miss Universe magnificence pageant to Hollywood’s largest expertise company. That marked a decline of almost 24 per cent on the earlier yr.

The firm’s losses, which widened to $625m final yr, partly replicate that extreme toll the pandemic has taken on the leisure business. Television and film studios have been pressured to shut for prolonged intervals, whereas public well being laws have halted ticket gross sales for many reside occasions.

Among the affected companies was Ultimate Fighting Championship, the blended martial arts franchise that Endeavor purchased alongside non-public fairness teams Silver Lake and KKR in 2016.

Still, Endeavor plans to double down on UFC, utilizing a few of the IPO proceeds — as nicely as its personal fairness — to purchase the 49.9 per cent of the franchise that it doesn’t already personal.

Emanuel based Endeavor as a expertise company. It later absorbed its century-old rival William Morris Agency, which has represented the likes of Rihanna and Charlize Theron, as nicely as sports activities company IMG.

The firm has since sought to place itself as a creator of unique leisure content material. Nearly three-quarters of its income final yr got here from companies aside from expertise illustration.

In a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Endeavor didn’t point out how a lot it proposed to increase within the IPO, or at what valuation.

The firm had hoped to increase $712m from its aborted 2019 IPO. It was valued at $6.3bn in 2017, when it landed a $1bn funding from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

Musk is anticipated to be part of Endeavor’s board within the coming weeks, in accordance to a submitting with the SEC — the company he as soon as mocked as “the Shortseller Enrichment Commission”.

The Tesla chief government paid a $20m penalty to settle an SEC lawsuit that accused him of securities fraud after he declared on Twitter in 2018 that he needed to take the carmaker non-public in a $70bn deal.

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