Endeavour, famed superagent Ari Emanuel, is struggling to find a buyer for his struggling beauty pageant business and refuses to cut the price, The Post has learned.
Emanuel, the inspiration for Hollywood fictional agent Ari Gold on HBO’s hit show “Entourage,” has shopped around for his Miss Universe business for the past six months for $20 million, without success, said a knowledgeable source.
The CEO of Endeavour, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the William Morris Talent Agency, picked up the organization of Donald Trump’s beauty pageant in 2015 before he ran for president.
Although the sale price was not disclosed, financial statements related to Trump’s political campaign indicated that the organization was worth between $5 million and $25 million and had revenues of $3.4 million.
A person familiar with Miss Universe’s financial situation told the Post that the organization — which includes Miss USA and Miss Teen USA events — records $2 million in losses a year, while generating revenue between $7 million and $9 million. of dollars.
Emanuel has been trying to woo foreign investors based in Asia and South America, the sources said. A person familiar with Endeavor’s thinking said that to offload the asset, the Miss Universe award could be lowered a bit, but not much.
The tycoon doesn’t like to ‘admit’ he’s ‘lost money’ on anything, so the price probably won’t come down ‘enough’, the person added.
Endeavor declined to comment.
A person familiar with the situation said a buyer was interested but declined to provide details.
The insider said Miss Universe has been profitable on average since Endeavor bought it – if the pandemic year is removed. The organization was forced to cancel events in 2020.
Endeavour, which went public in 2021, has sought to prune some lackluster businesses as it seeks more acquisitions and grows lucrative, lucrative divisions like the UFC MMA league, insiders said.
The Miss Universe pageant, founded in 1952, was first televised in 1955 by CBS. He appeared as a contestant in the Miss America pageant, which was founded in 1921. Although the two pageants are often confused, the Miss America pageant is owned by the non-profit organization Miss America, which also operates a scholarship program which was launched in 1945.
Miss Universe rules only allowed single women between the ages of 18 and 28 who have never been married or had children to apply. In recent years, both events have attempted to evolve beyond their traditional roots as ratings have plummeted.
Last year’s Miss Universe pageant, won by India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, drew 2.7 million total viewers on Fox, putting the network in last place among the big four broadcasters. The rating marked a 30% drop from the 3.8 million viewers the competition attracted in 2019. Just two years earlier, in 2017, the competition attracted 5.2 million total viewers.
This year’s competition is scheduled for December and will once again be televised by Fox.
The drop in viewership also comes as critics question whether beauty pageants are dated and hindering the cause of gender equality. The Miss America pageant scaled back its swimsuit pageant in 2018 amid dwindling viewership numbers that recently dipped to 3.6 million in 2020.
Last year’s Miss Universe pageant welcomed its first transgender contestant, and next year’s will allow married women and mothers.
For Endeavour, the sale of Miss Universe will help it build up cash for other business opportunities, a source said, noting that Emanuel has many investment ideas in mind.
Selling assets is part of Endeavor’s playbook. Before going public, the media conglomerate, which has an investment arm, sold stakes in Fortnite maker Epic Games for around $80 million.
The company, which manages events for Fashion Week events around the world, various PGA golf tournaments and professional tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon and the Australian Open, also sold smaller investments in underperforming companies, ahead of its second IPO attempt in 2021.
Endeavour, which represents Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey and Christian Bale through its talent agency WME, tried and failed to go public in 2019 as investors shunned Endeavor’s mishmash of assets and heavy debt load.
Two years later, the company sweetened the pot by buying its remaining stake in the lucrative UFC, which helped Endeavor go public at $24 a share last April. Over the past year, shares of Endeavor have fallen from a high of $34 to a more recent low of around $22.
The stock closed just off that low on Thursday, at $22.55.
New York Post