Connect with us

Business

Elon Musk to join board of Endeavor, owner of UFC, WME Miss Universe

Published

on

[ad_1]

Elon Musk is being tapped to oversee Ultimate Fighting Championship, a bunch of Hollywood agents and the Miss Universe Pageant.

What could go wrong?

Tesla’s eccentric, Twitter-happy chief executive plans to join the board of Endeavor — the Hollywood conglomerate controlled by Ari Emanuel that owns a majority stake in the UFC, as well as the WME talent agency and the Miss Universe global beauty contest, a securities filing revealed late Wednesday.

The so-called S-1 filing revealed that Endeavor is looking to go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “EDR.” It has raised nearly $1.7 billion from a who’s who of high-profile, private investors including billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, Michael Dell’s MSD Capital, Silver Lake, Tencent and Third Point.

The filing confirmed The Post’s report last week that it aims to file for an IPO early next month as part of a deal to increase its majority ownership of UFC to a full 100 percent. Endeavor scrapped a 2019 IPO a day before its shares were supposed to list, citing weak demand.

In Wednesday’s filing, however, Endeavor only vaguely explained why it believes that adding the controversial Musk to its board would be a good idea.

Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi and Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón
Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson, Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi and Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón
Getty Images

In addition to Musk’s “professional background and experience running a public company,” Endeavor cited his “previously held senior executive-level positions, his service on other public company boards and his experience starting, growing and integrating businesses.”

Los Angeles-based Endeavor was also quick, however, to admit that Musk has a rocky record when it comes to corporate governance. That includes his infamous August 2018 tweet that he planned to take Tesla private for $420 a share.

The market-scrambling tweet — which amounted to a pot joke, as “420” is slang for marijuana use — got Musk a $20 million fine and banned as chairman of Tesla by the SEC for two years, Endeavor acknowledged in its Wednesday securities filing.

Nevertheless, Endeavor added, “There are no restrictions on Mr. Musk’s ability to serve as an officer or a director on a company’s board.”

Comedian Larry David (2nd L) and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel (2nd R) at the game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors during the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Comedian Larry David (2nd L) and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel (2nd R) at the game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors during the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Getty Images

According to sources close to the situation, Musk and Emanuel have connections in common that include Egon Durban, the co-CEO of private equity firm Silver Lake. Musk consulted Durban, who helped bankroll Michael Dell’s buyout of his computer company, when he was mulling the idea of taking Tesla private. At the time, Musk also spoke to Dell, himself, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, as reported exclusively by The Post, Silver Lake owns a 35 percent stake in Endeavor and a 20 percent stake in the UFC. Endeavor is looking to buy out those stakes and take 100-percent control of UFC as part of its bid to IPO. Dell also owns a 2 percent stake in the MMA company. 

Musk also has some other chance connections to Endeavor. Pop star Grimes, his girlfriend and baby mama, is repped by WME. The couple has also been spotted together at UFC matches, and UFC president Dana White has traded tweets with Musk. Recently, White told reporters that he thought the Tesla CEO was a “badass” for reopening Tesla’s car manufacturing plant in California during the pandemic. 

“Didn’t he open it and say come arrest me? I love it,” White said at a press conference last May.

UFC Champion Francis Ngannou
UFC Champion Francis Ngannou
Zuffa LLC

Musk has also appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast several times, sometimes smoking weed, to gab on a host of topics that have included MMA. In a recent interview, Musk told a surprised Rogan that he practiced martial arts as a kid and has been a fan of “the first MMA fights,” particularly those of UFC hall of fame fighter Royce Gracie.

“He [Gracie] was winning against people way bigger and that kind of thing. And it was just like “Whoa, this is cool,” Musk said. “I sent my kids to jujitsu since they were like, I don’t know, six.”

Endeavor also revealed in its filing that Fawn Weaver, an investor and author of “Happy Wives Club,” would also be joining the board.

According to the filing, Endeavor pulled in $3.5 billion in revenue last year and it logged a $625.3 million net loss. That’s versus the year-earlier $4.6 billion in revenue and a net loss of $530.7 million.

An Endeavor rep declined to comment on Wednesday.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Glasses retailer Warby Parker eyeing IPO as soon as this year

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Hipster glasses retailer Warby Parker is eyeing an initial public offering.

The 11-year-old business, which started out as an e-tailer before rolling out some 130 stores across the US, is considering an IPO as early as this year, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The New York-based company has amassed a huge customer following by offering less expensive prescription glasses. Warby Parker raised $120 million in its most recent funding round giving it a $3 billion valuation, according to the report.

“We’ve always explored various financing opportunities in both the debt and equity markets,” the company said in a statement. “To date, we have successfully and deliberately raised money within the private market on favorable terms and have plenty of cash on our balance sheet. We’ll continue to make strategic decisions in line with our commitment to sustainable growth.”

Founded by college buddies Dave Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal, who met at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Warby Parker has attracted some large investors including the mutual fund company, T. Rowe Price.

It turned it first profit in 2018, Gilboa told The New York Times at the time.

Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal
Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal
Brian Ach/Getty Images

Customers can get prescriptions through their apps on their smartphones and use cameras to pick out frames. The company also has an optical lab in Sloatsburg, NY where it produces lenses.

While Warby Parker is not the least expensive option, it beats Costco in a recent comparison with Costco charging as little a $126 for a pair of prescription glasses compared with Warby Parker’s least expensive pair at $95.

“As consumer walk into a LensCrafters or Sunglass Hut, they see 50 different brands of glasses but don’t realize that all those brands are owned by the same company that owns the store that they’re standing in, that probably owns the vision insurance plan they’r using to pay for those glasses,” Gilboa said in a recent CNBC interview.

“And so, it’s no surprise that a lot of those glasses are marked up 10 to 20 times what they cost to manufacture,” he said.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Dogecoin hits new high boosted by DogeDay hashtags

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Dogecoin prices hit an all-time high on Tuesday, with a market capitalization above $50 billion, after social media fans used hashtags to fuel a rally in the meme-based cryptocurrency.

An 8,000 percent price surge this year has seen Dogecoin, which was launched as a satirical critique of 2013′s cryptocurrency frenzy, overtake more widely-used cryptocurrencies like Tether to become the fifth-largest coin.

While Dogecoin, whose logo features a Shiba Inu dog at the center of the meme, a represents only a fraction of bitcoin’s $1 trillion value, it can be traded on crypto exchanges and more popular mainstream trading apps.

“The Doge rally represents an interesting convergence,” said Diana Biggs, CEO of crypto start-up Valour, after Dogecoin’s price soared by more than five-fold in the last week to a record 42 cents, according to CoinMarketCap.

“A meme coin created as a joke for early crypto adopters whose community found that kind of thing to be fun, with now a new generation of retail investors for whom memes are a native language,” Biggs added.

Dogecoin fans used the hashtags #DogeDay and #DogeDay420 to post memes, messages and videos on Twitter, Reddit and TikTok, referring to the informal April 20 holiday to celebrate cannabis which is marked by smoke-ins and street parties.

“GIMME THAT DOGECOIN LAMBO!!! #DogeDay” one tweeted, referring to the Lamborghini car popular in crypto culture.

Dogecoin’s rise has come amid a surge in online trading of stocks and crypto by retail investors, stuck at home with extra cash because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not coincided with a growth in usage of the coin for payments or in commerce.

The same trend has spurred a boom in usage of online trading apps like Robinhood, and also fueled the social-media driven rally in GameStop stock that pitted retail investors against hedge funds earlier this year.

“It’s an extension of the same phenomenon that has led Tesla stock to be valued well beyond fundamentals and more recently to the GME (GameStop) short squeeze,” said Ajit Tripathi, head of institutional business at decentralised finance startup Aave.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin’s price is heavily influenced by social media users including Tesla chief Elon Musk, whose tweets on the cryptocurrency in February sent its price soaring over 60 percent.

“If this goes as planned and everybody including Mr. Musk go ahead and just pour money into Doge on April 20th all at once Doge will reach prices that originally were not even conceptual,” a TikTok user said in a video promoting the coin.



[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Amazon is opening a beauty salon in London

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Amazon is opening a hair salon in London — its latest odd lurch into new businesses as the pandemic continues to fuel the e-commerce giant’s torrid growth.

The Amazon Salon, unveiled in a Tuesday blog post, will occupy a two-story, 1,500-square-foot space in Spitalfields, a trendy neighborhood in East London that is also home to Amazon’s UK headquarters, which houses about 5,000 employees.

Indeed, the new salon, which will be open seven days a week, initially will only cater to Amazon workers. Members of the public will be able to make bookings in “the coming weeks” by calling, emailing or visiting the salon, the company says.

“This will be an experiential venue where we showcase new products and technology,” Amazon said in a blog post on Tuesday, adding that there are no plans to open other salons.

That will include making Amazon’s Fire tablets available at each station, allowing customers to use augmented reality technology to see what they look like as a platinum blonde, brunette or with highlights, the company said.

The salon is located at Amazon’s UK headquarters, which houses about 5,000 employees.
The salon is located at Amazon’s UK headquarters, which houses about 5,000 employees.
Amazon

The salon will also test new “point-and-learn” technology, where customers can point at a product they are interested in on a display shelf and the relevant information, including brand videos and educational content, will appear on a display screen.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending