Raine bags $65mn fee advising WWE on Endeavor takeover

Raine Group, the US service provider financial institution main a sale of Manchester United soccer membership, will rake in considered one of its largest paydays if World Wrestling Leisure’s merger with Final Combating Championship closes efficiently.

The group, launched in 2009 by former Goldman Sachs banker Joe Ravitch and Morgan Stanley and former UBS banker Jeff Sine, is about to make $65.5mn from the deal, with the overwhelming majority of the charges due as soon as it’s full.

Raine has constructed its fame advising on a few of the largest sports activities and leisure transactions. Final 12 months it helped Roman Abramovich promote Chelsea Soccer Membership for £2.5bn and extra not too long ago landed a coveted function engaged on a possible sale of Manchester United for the billionaire Glazer household.

The small print of Raine’s charge have been not too long ago disclosed in US securities filings as Vince McMahon’s WWE appears to finish an all-stock $21bn merger with Endeavor Group-owned UFC to create a wrestling and combined martial arts leisure powerhouse.

The filings final Friday present that JPMorgan and Moelis are set to earn about $25mn every for advising WWE alongside Raine. The deal is anticipated to shut within the second half of this 12 months.

The whole mixture charges of about 1 per cent of the transaction worth to be paid to Raine, JPMorgan and Moelis, is on the excessive finish of the historic vary, based on a earlier Monetary Occasions evaluation.

Raine’s Sine has labored with the McMahon household over a 20-year interval, together with Vince’s spouse, Linda, who has additionally served as chief government of WWE.

The financial institution suggested Vince McMahon on the revival of the XFL, an expert American soccer league, in 2020.

Endeavor confronted competitors from two different bidders however McMahon and Endeavor’s chief government, Ari Emanuel, raced to finish the tie-up over WWE’s annual WrestleMania weekend extravaganza in early April.

Regardless of working with McMahon on the UFC merger, Raine has shut ties with Emanuel, who was an preliminary backer of Raine. Raine has labored on a number of transactions involving Endeavor, together with the $1.3bn sale of sports activities coaching enterprise IMG Academy simply weeks after the WWE deal was introduced.

Raine — which has about 25 companions and managing administrators, with whole employees of about 175 — additionally performed its half in a collection of offers that fashioned Endeavor. It additionally has an investing arm.

It suggested expertise company William Morris Endeavor on the sale of a minority stake to non-public fairness group Silver Lake in 2012 and the group’s acquisition of sports activities company IMG the next 12 months. It then suggested UFC on its sale to the WME IMG — the predecessor to Endeavor — in 2016.

The WWE-UFC merger is a boon to the advisers in an in any other case slowing marketplace for company dealmaking as greater rates of interest and financial uncertainty have damage exercise.

Raine is advising on the Manchester United course of, which has entered its last levels and has grow to be probably the most carefully adopted offers in sport this 12 months.

The competitors for United has come down to simply two bidders — British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, looking for to purchase a minimum of a majority stake — and Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

That’s in stark distinction to the battle to purchase Chelsea final Could. The membership was ultimately offered for a report worth for an English Premier League crew in a deal orchestrated by Ravitch and Raine accomplice Colin Neville, incomes Raine within the area of $38mn, based on LSEG Offers Intelligence estimates.

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