The UFC has been sold to a group led by WME-IMG for around $4 billion, Michael J. de la Merced of The New York Times reports.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell previously reported in mid-June that the process of selling the fight commission had picked up, with two groups bidding to finance the buyout. China Media Capital was reportedly bidding with WME-IMG in the $4.1 billion range.
According to the Times, an announcement is expected on Monday. Silver Lake, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and the investment firm of billionaire Michael S. Dell are backing the deal.
UFC president Dana White tweeted out a smiley-face emoji early on Sunday. Speaking with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, he called the sale of UFC “very” bittersweet.
😃— Dana White (@danawhite) July 11, 2016
The organization was previously majority owned by Zuffa, which bought the UFC for $2 million in 2001.
UFC recently held what may be its largest event in history, UFC 200, which drew 18,000 in Las Vegas.
The company had previously denied being up for sale in May. On the Dan Patrick Show, White said, “We’re not for sale. But let me tell you what. If somebody shows up with $4 billion, we can talk.”