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Ari Emanuel Earned $65 Million Pay Package in 2023 as CEO of TKO Group, Parent of WWE and UFC

Ari Emanuel, in his capacity as CEO of TKO Group Holdings — the parent company of UFC and WWE — had a compensation package last year that hit nearly $65 million.

TKO granted Emanuel, who also is CEO of Endeavor, a base salary of $911,538, plus a $24 million cash bonus and stock awards worth $40 million in 2023, per a regulatory filing by TKO. All told, the exec’s pay package totaled $64.91 million.

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TKO previously disclosed that Emanuel received stock grants worth $40 million, vesting over a four-year period, in conjunction with the closing of the UFC-WWE merger in September 2023 (which is majority owned by Endeavor).

Earlier this month, Endeavor announced a deal to go private with private-equity firm Silver Lake that will give the company an equity value of $13 billion. That deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2025. (TKO Group is not part of the Endeavor-Silver Lake transaction and will remain a publicly traded company.)

Endeavor has not disclosed how much Emanuel earned as CEO in 2023. His 2022 compensation package at Endeavor was worth $19.1 million, down from a whopping $308 million the year prior, which mostly comprised stock grants vesting over several years.

When the Endeavor go-private deal closes, Emanuel will receive a $25 million “transaction bonus” and will be entitled to receive quarterly royalty payments from WME equal to 2.5% of the quarterly net cash profits. Emanuel will receive new equity awards in Endeavor representing an initial award of 2.5% of the equity interests and a supplemental award of 0.5% of the equity interests, calculated on a fully diluted basis. One-third of the initial award will be options and two-thirds will be restricted stock units subject to vesting terms.

Starting on the second anniversary of the close of Silver Lake’s deal to buy Endeavor, Emanuel will have a one-time right to require the company to repurchase all or a portion of his company equity interests. Under his agreement with Endeavor, Shapiro will “have reasonable access to the private aircraft available to the Company (when available) and when not using such private aircraft, will be reimbursed for first class or charter aircraft travel.”

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