Endeavor said Thursday it has acquired a majority equity ownership stake in On Location Experiences, the high-end experiential hospitality company. The deal, which has been in the works for a while, is thought to be for around $650 million-$700 million.
On Location, originally a part of the NFL, has been privately held since 2015 by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, the Carlyle Group and the NFL’s investment arm 32 Equity. The league will continue to be a minority shareholder and retain its seat on the board of directors. Veteran media exec Paul Caine, most recently chief revenue officer at Bloomberg, has been tapped as president.
OLE’s CEO John Collins will serve as an advisor to the company and Endeavor through an integration period, said Endeavor, which adds OLE to its roster of entertainment companies including talent agency WME, IMG and the UFC.
In August, Endeavor Group Holdings updated the planned timeline of its IPO until September partly to give it time to close the OLE acquisition. It did not end up pulling the trigger on the offering.
“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 CEO Ariel Emanuel said today in a release announcing the deal. “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.”
Via 32 Equity, the NFL will enhance its partnership with On Location in providing fans, partners and clubs access to its suite of premium hospitality offerings. The company, which services corporate clients and fans looking for immersive experiences at marquee events, is the official hospitality partner of the NFL, and partner to more than 150 other rights holders including the NCAA, the PGA of America and the USTA.
“We are excited to partner with Endeavor to grow On Location Experiences globally,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We are committed to offering NFL fans unique and first-class experiences at our events. On Location shares this commitment and delivers value for its partners and delights fans at events around the world.”
For Endeavor, Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor, and The Raine Group as financial advisor. Paul Hastings LLP is serving as legal advisor to On Location. Ropes & Gray LLP is serving as legal advisor to the NFL.
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