Endeavor Abruptly Pulls Its Wall Street IPO at the 11th Hour

Endeavor, one of the largest and most powerful talent agencies in the world, has withdrawn its planned IPO. The company was due to go public on the New York Stock Exchange on the 27th of September, but it abruptly cancelled the IPO, citing market conditions as the reason. The LA-based firm still intends to go public but has signaled that this won’t happen before 2020.

Endeavor is a significant player in the entertainment industry and oversees tours from mega-stars such as Jason Aldean and Drake. The company initially merged with William Morris Agency in 2009 to form William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), which was ultimately recast under the simplified Endeavor umbrella.

In a statement, the company said it would continue to evaluate the timing for an IPO “as market conditions develop.” The news comes after recent turbulence in the IPO market. Both Uber and Lyft had disappointing openings, and a few days ago shares of exercise company Peloton fell more than 10% in its opening trading session. Insiders say that Peloton’s disappointing performance played heavily in Endeavor’s decision to delay its IPO, as it feared that the company would ultimately be undervalued.

Before cancelling the IPO, Endeavor lowered both its price range and the amount of shares offered, according to an SEC filing. While the company originally planned to sell 19.4 million shares in the range of $30 to $32 per share, they reduced this to 15 million shares selling within the range of $26 to $27. Endeavor at one time believed that it could raise more than $700 million from an IPO, but its updated offering could have brought it less than $400 million.

The company has lately been positioning itself as more than just a talent agency. With the help of minority investors such as Softbank and Silver Lake Partners, they have acquired a diverse set of assets, such UFC, IMG, and the Professional Bull Riders. It has also increased its capabilities as a production company, but this has not been without controversy. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) believes that this expansion is a conflict of interest and has encouraged its members to find alternative representation.

Endeavor’s withdrawal from the IPO market is a significant blow to the company, especially as it has been aggressively expanding its business in recent years. The company has been trying to diversify its revenue streams beyond the traditional talent agency business model, and this move was seen as a way to achieve that goal. The company’s IPO was expected to raise a substantial amount of capital, which would have allowed it to fund further acquisitions and investments in new areas.

The future of Endeavor’s IPO remains unclear, and it will be interesting to see how the company responds to market conditions in the coming months. Its decision to cancel the IPO suggests that the company is not confident in the current market environment, and it will likely wait for more favorable conditions before trying again. For now, the company will continue to operate as usual, overseeing tours for its clients and looking for new ways to expand its business into new areas.