Elon Musk is being tapped to oversee Ultimate Fighting Championship, a bunch of Hollywood agents and the Miss Universe Pageant.
What could go wrong?
Tesla’s eccentric, Twitter-happy chief executive plans to join the board of Endeavor — the Hollywood conglomerate controlled by Ari Emanuel that owns a majority stake in the UFC, as well as the WME talent agency and the Miss Universe global beauty contest, a securities filing revealed late Wednesday.
The so-called S-1 filing revealed that Endeavor is looking to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “EDR.” It has raised nearly $1.7 billion from a who’s who of high-profile, private investors including billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, Michael Dell’s MSD Capital, Silver Lake, Tencent and Third Point.
The filing confirmed The Post’s report last week that it aims to file for an IPO early next month as part of a deal to increase its majority ownership of UFC to a full 100 percent. Endeavor scrapped a 2019 IPO a day before its shares were supposed to list, citing weak demand.
In Wednesday’s filing, however, Endeavor only vaguely explained why it believes that adding the controversial Musk to its board would be a good idea.
In addition to Musk’s “professional background and experience running a public company,” Endeavor cited his “previously held senior executive-level positions, his service on other public company boards and his experience starting, growing and integrating businesses.”
Los Angeles-based Endeavor was also quick, however, to admit that Musk has a rocky record when it comes to corporate governance. That includes his infamous August 2018 tweet that he planned to take Tesla private for $420 a share.
Nevertheless, Endeavor added, “There are no restrictions on Mr. Musk’s ability to serve as an officer or a director on a company’s board.”
According to sources close to the situation, Musk and Emanuel have connections in common that include Egon Durban, the co-CEO of private equity firm Silver Lake. Musk consulted Durban, who helped bankroll Michael Dell’s buyout of his computer company, when he was mulling the idea of taking Tesla private. At the time, Musk also spoke to Dell, himself, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, as reported exclusively by The Post, Silver Lake owns a 35 percent stake in Endeavor and a 20 percent stake in the UFC. Endeavor is looking to buy out those stakes and take 100-percent control of UFC as part of its bid to IPO. Dell also owns a 2 percent stake in the MMA company.
Musk also has some other chance connections to Endeavor. Pop star Grimes, his girlfriend and baby mama, is repped by WME. The couple has also been spotted together at UFC matches, and UFC president Dana White has traded tweets with Musk. Recently, White told reporters that he thought the Tesla CEO was a “badass” for reopening Tesla’s car manufacturing plant in California during the pandemic.
“Didn’t he open it and say come arrest me? I love it,” White said at a press conference last May.
Musk has also appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast several times, sometimes smoking weed, to gab on a host of topics that have included MMA. In a recent interview, Musk told a surprised Rogan that he practiced martial arts as a kid and has been a fan of “the first MMA fights,” particularly those of UFC hall of fame fighter Royce Gracie.
“He [Gracie] was winning against people way bigger and that kind of thing. And it was just like “Whoa, this is cool,” Musk said. “I sent my kids to jujitsu since they were like, I don’t know, six.”
Endeavor also revealed in its filing that Fawn Weaver, an investor and author of “Happy Wives Club,” would also be joining the board.
According to the filing, Endeavor pulled in $3.5 billion in revenue last year and it logged a $625.3 million net loss. That’s versus the year-earlier $4.6 billion in revenue and a net loss of $530.7 million.