UFC could be sold for $4bn to Chinese investor
According to ESPN, the bidders are WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group. The deal could net the current UFC owners $3.5-4 billion.
UFC President Dana White has denied the report, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal that "the UFC is not for sale” and declining further comment.
"As a private company, we don't discuss speculation or rumors related to our business," added UFC spokesman Dave Sholler.
UFC is owned by Zuffa LLC, which it bought in 2001 for just $2 million. ESPN’s sources familiar with the negotiations, say that UFC earned $200 million to $250 million in revenues last year. This number is expected to double in 2019, when a new TV contract kicks into gear.
The leader to win the bid is reportedly the Chinese Dalian Wanda Group, owned by the country’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, who is worth $35 billion.
Last year, the company bought a 20 percent stake in this year’s Champions League finalist Atletico Madrid for reported $48 million.
This January, Wanda also acquired Hollywood film studio Legendary Entertainment, known for making the ‘Dark Knight’ Batman trilogy, ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’.