Endeavor is finally declaring its intention to go public and, in doing so, is offering details of its financial position.
The media company that counts talent agency WME among its holdings generated $3.61 billion in revenue in 2018 and net income of $231.3 million, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. After adjustments, net income was $100.1 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $551.1 million.
The filing arrives less than a day after an overture by the major agencies to restart talks with the Writers Guild of America over a new franchise agreement. The situation with the WGA, in fact, is listed as a risk in Endeavor’s filing. “Any unexpected change in franchise or licensing requirements … could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations,” Endeavor says.
The company boasts in its filing that it has “represented some of the world’s greatest talent” since 1898 (the founding year of the William Morris Agency, which 111 years later was merged with the talent agency Endeavor). Currently, it represents various elements of 300 TV shows and 60 percent of headliners of various music festivals. It has more than 6,000 clients in entertainment and sports, including seven of the world’s 10 highest-paid models.
A key asset is Ultimate Fighting Championship, and its Endeavor Content asset has financed or sold more than 100 shows and movies, including La La Land, Killing Eve and The Night Manager. Endeavor also owns Sport 24, an all-day sport channel for airplanes and cruise ships.
Endeavor said in its filing that it employs 7,000 people across 20 countries and that, from 2015 to 2018, it has grown revenue at a 27 percent annual compounded rate, some of which can be attributed to acquisitions.
The company plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, EDR. Goldman Sachs is the lead banker and an additional underwriter is KKR, which helped Endeavor with its $4 billion acquisition of UFC.
Endeavor hasn’t yet disclosed how much it intends to raise in its IPO or what the company might be valued at, though insiders have said it is angling to raise roughly $500 million at a valuation of more than $6 billion.
Thursday’s filing says Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell each earned base salaries of $1 million in 2018 and each made an additional $4 million in bonuses. Mark Shapiro, the president, earned $3 million in base salary and $2 million from bonuses.
Included in the filing was a letter from Emanuel, below.