Mar 31, 2021

WME (Endeavor) Is Filing To Go Public On The Open Market

-Again. Once again WME is filing for the right to go public, though they failed last time, this time the hurdle of fighting Hollywood Screenwriter’s is no longer in their path.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Ari Emanuel is once again fighting for his company to go public. WME made a staggering $3.478 billion in revenue in 2020 with a net income loss of $625 million for the year. In 2020…a year that decimated alot of entertainment. Although they filed in 2018 to go public, the company pulled out citing “market conditions”. In the new deal reached with the WGA, the company signed on the dotted line as part of its deal with writers to agreed to divest 80 percent of its stake in production company Endeavor Content. That branch has worked on 200 film and TV projects over the course of the last year, in a timeline that hasn’t been made public. (The Writers Guild, anticipating that Endeavor would aim for an IPO once again, built in provisions that would allow its deal terms to stay in place even if the company goes public.)

As part of Endeavor’s filing on March 31, the company listed “potential internal conflicts of interests” under its “Risk Factors” section. “Different parts of our business may have actual or potential conflicts of interest with each other,” the company noted, adding: “Although we attempt to manage these conflicts appropriately, any failure to adequately address or manage internal conflicts of interest could adversely affect our reputation.”

Since abandoning its attempt at a public offering in 2019 (it would’ve traded under “EDR”), Endeavor bought the New York-based Harry Walker Agency, folded its own speakers division into that standalone unit, brought in former ABC chief Lloyd Braun to run its representation business and acquired live-events hospitality firm On Location Experiences for $660 million, among other moves. We now sit back, and reflect on what the company may prospect for a future trade opening day, as of 2021 Endeavor has been funded by private equity. What will a future as a publicly traded company mean for the future of WME?