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JPMorgan leads underwriters on a piece of the deal to buy out the controlling investor in WWE, Ultimate Fighting Championship

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Silver Lake Management has lined up as much as $8.5 billion of debt financing for its buyout of Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., the talent agency and controlling investor in WWE and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is leading underwriters on a portion of the financing structured as a leveraged loan, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The makeup and amount of debt could still change, said the people, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak publicly.

amid a dearth of leveraged buyouts and acquisitions. Demand for new paper from investors is high as the loan market tightens to levels not seen since 2022. 

Silver Lake and JPMorgan declined to comment, while Endeavor didn’t respond to a request seeking comment. 

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Bank of Canada acted as lead financing arrangers and lead financial advisers to Silver Lake, according to a press release. LevFin Insights earlier reported some details of the financing.

The biggest acquisition deal in the leveraged loan market this year included around $5 billion of loans in February for KKR & Co.’s purchase of a stake in Cotiviti Inc. That deal marked a key victory for Wall Street banks over private credit lenders.

Banks and direct lenders are going toe-to-toe to finance deals such as the buyout of Sanofi’s consumer health division and the potential buyout of Apleona Group GmbH. Direct lending firms led by Ares Management Corp. and Blue Owl Capital Inc. are set to provide roughly $4.8 billion of debt financing for the acquisition of pharmaceuticals manufacturer Catalent Inc. 

Endeavor Group agreed to be acquired in a $13 billion buyout by Silver Lake earlier this month. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2025. 

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