Famous superagent Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor is having a terrible time trying to find a buyer for its struggling beauty pageant business, refusing to cut the price, The Post has learned.
Emanuel, the inspiration for legendary Hollywood actress Ari Gold in HBO’s hit show “Entourage,” has been shopping around her Miss Universe business for the past six months for $20 million, with no luck, a source with knowledge said.
The hard-charging CEO of Endeavor, which owns Ultimate Fighting Championship and the William Morris Talent Agency, took over the beauty agency from Donald Trump in 2015 ahead of his presidential bid.
Although the sale price was not disclosed, financial statements related to Trump’s political campaign say that the organization is worth between $5 million and $25 million and has $3.4 million in revenue.
A person familiar with the financial situation of Miss Universe told The Post that the organization – which includes the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA events – books $ 2 million in annual losses, while it provides income between $ 7 million and $ 9 million.
Emanuel has been trying to woo foreign investors based in Asia and South America, the sources said. A person familiar with the Endeavor plan said that in order to remove the asset, the cost of Miss Universe may decrease slightly, but not by much.
The mogul doesn’t like “taking” or “losing money” on anything, so the price won’t drop “enough,” the person added.
Endeavor declined to comment.
A person familiar with the situation said a buyer is interested but declined to provide details.
The director said that Miss Universe has been profitable in general since Endeavor bought it – if the pandemic year is removed. The organization was forced to cancel events in 2020.
Endeavor, which will go public in 2021, has been looking to shed some unsavory businesses as it hunts for more assets and grows profitable, money-making divisions like MMA League UFC, insiders. tell.
The Miss Universe pageant, which was founded in 1952, was first televised in 1955 by CBS. She appeared as a contestant to 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 Miss America Organization, which also The scholarship program was launched in 1945.
The Miss Universe pageant allows only single women between 18 and 28 who have never been married or have no children to apply. In recent years, both events have tried to evolve beyond their traditional roots as prices have dropped.
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 number marked a 30% dive from the 3.8 million viewers that the page attracted in 2019. Just two years ago, in 2017, the page reeled in 5.2 million total viewers.
This year’s pageant is slated for December and will once again be televised by Fox.
There is also a drop in visibility as critics question whether beauty pages are dated and hinder the cause of gender equality. The Miss America pageant cut its swimsuit competition in 2018 amid dwindling prices that recently dropped to 3.6 million in 2020.
Last year’s Miss Universe pageant welcomed its first transgender contestant, and next year will allow married women and mothers.
For Endeavor, the Miss Universe auction will help it raise money for other business opportunities, a source said, noting that Emanuel has several investment ideas in mind.
Selling off assets has been part of Endeavor’s playbook. Before going public, the media conglomerate, which has an investment arm, sold shares in Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, for about $80 million.
The company, which manages events for Fashion Week events around the world, several PGA golf tournaments and professional tennis tournaments such as Wimbledon and the Australian Open, also sells small investments in businesses of it did not work, before its second attempt to go public in 2021.
Endeavor, which repped the likes of Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey and Christian Bale through its WME talent agency, tried and failed to go public in 2019 as investors shunned Endeavor’s hodgepodge of assets and heavy debt burden.
Two years later, the company played the pot, buying the remaining stake in the profitable UFC, which helped Endeavor go public at $24 a share last April. Over the past year, Endeavor’s stock has fluctuated from a high of $34 to a more recent low of around $22.
The stock closed Wednesday near that low, at $22.55.