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Patrick Whitesell’s New Business to Receive $250 Million Investment from Silver Lake


Apr 3, 2024

Silver Lake’s plan to take Endeavor private includes an investment of $250 million of seed equity “into a new business to be founded, managed and controlled” by executive chairman Patrick Whitesell. The business will include investing in and providing services to companies in the entertainment, media, and sports industries; developing, producing, financing, and exploiting film, television, and digital audio-visual content; talent management; and consulting with other entertainment companies, according to an SEC filing today that includes new contract details for Endeavor’s top executives.

The filing, which had new employment letters for CEO Ari Emanuel and COO Mark Shapiro – who will be running Endeavor – indicated that Whitesell, while continuing to be a major shareholder and board member, will be branching out. The document also refers a number of times to a private Endeavor exploring potential asset sales except for TKO Group and WME.

As reported yesterday, private equity firm Silver Lake Capital will be leading the privatization what it called the largest in media and entertainment history and the biggest in any sector over the past decade with Endeavor. The equity value of the acquisition is pegged at $13 billion. After three years as a public company, big investors weren’t happy with the stock price valuation.

The merger agreement calls for “reasonable best efforts to facilitate, negotiate and consummate the sale transfer, divestiture or other disposition” of assets, excluding all or part of publicly traded TKO Group, of which Endeavor owns 51%, and the agency representation business of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. It said Emanuel would receive a $25 million “asset sale transaction bonus” following the sale or disposition of certain specified assets. How and when that would be triggered isn’t clear. He will also be given ownership of one of Endeavor’s private planes.

Shapiro’s base salary will rise to $7 million a year as of April 2, 2024 with a guaranteed annual bonus equal to $15 million.

By editor

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