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Endeavor buys sports events company for $660 million as agencies diversify

Ari Emanuel, Donald Trump
Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel in 2016 in Bedminster, N.J.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Endeavor, the Beverly Hills-based owner of talent agency WME, said Thursday it has acquired On Location Experiences, a hospitality and live events company.

The deal will give Endeavor a majority stake in On Location Experiences, which works with the NFL and other major sports organizations such as the PGA of America and the NCAA. The deal is valued at about $660 million, said a person familiar with the transaction who was not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.

It’s the latest in a flurry of acquisitions by major talent agency owners as they expand into other areas of entertainment, particularly in sports and music. In July, a division of Creative Artists Agency bought Base Soccer Agency, a London-based firm that represents soccer players, coaches and managers.

“By bringing together a leader like On Location with Endeavor’s access and reach, we can advance the way consumers and brands think about money-can’t-buy experiences,” Endeavor Chief Executive Ari Emanuel said in a statement. “Partnering with the NFL will enable us to leverage the best-in-class executions around one of the biggest events in the world, the Super Bowl, and extend this same level of service and experiences to other sports and entertainment properties globally.”

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On Location Experiences, which is based in New York, was previously owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, Carlyle Group and the NFL’s investment arm, 32 Equity.

The NFL’s 32 Equity will be a minority stakeholder in On Location Experiences and help it expand globally.

“We are committed to offering NFL fans unique and first-class experiences at our events,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

The deal will continue to build on Endeavor’s business, which has expanded into other areas of entertainment, including production and live events. Endeavor also owns mixed martial arts league UFC, which it acquired in 2016 for $4 billion.

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Endeavor was expected to launch a public stock offering last year but delayed it because of market conditions.


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