April 22, 2024

Silver Lake Backs Patrick Whitesell’s New Media Venture as Part of Endeavor Deal


In a true power move following Silver Lake’s agreement to take Endeavor private, Patrick Whitesell, the executive chairman of WME parent company Endeavor, is set to launch a new media enterprise backed by the private equity firm.

According to an Endeavor SEC filing on Wednesday, Silver Lake plans to inject $250 million of seed equity into the venture, to be managed and controlled by Whitesell. This initiative arises as part of Silver Lake’s broader acquisition of Endeavor, a deal that values the conglomerate at $13 billion and marks its transition from a publicly traded entity to a private one.

Whitesell’s new venture is poised to engage in various activities within the entertainment, media, and sports sectors, including investments and services, content development, talent management, and consulting for entertainment companies.

Despite his involvement with WME, Whitesell is expected to oversee the operations of the yet-to-be-named company. As per the employment terms outlined by Silver Lake, Whitesell will also potentially assume leadership roles within Endeavor, including a possible appointment as chairman of WME’s governing body.

Should Whitesell assume the chairmanship of WME, he stands to receive quarterly royalty payments equivalent to 2.5% of the agency’s quarterly net cash profits. Alternatively, if he declines the appointment or is not selected, he will receive a lump sum payment of $60 million.

Additional disclosures in Endeavor’s 8-K filing regarding the Silver Lake deal shed light on key appointments and financial arrangements. Notably, Ari Emanuel is slated to become CEO of the private Endeavor entity, with accompanying bonuses and equity awards. Mark Shapiro, the company’s president and COO, will also see salary increases and bonus incentives.

Furthermore, the filing outlines the financial terms surrounding Silver Lake’s involvement, including breakup and termination fees in the event of a deal renegotiation or collapse.

As Endeavor navigates this significant transition, stakeholders await further developments in the evolving landscape of media and entertainment under Whitesell’s leadership and Silver Lake’s backing.

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