WWE and the owners of mixed martial arts franchise UFC are to form a new £17.3bn sports entertainment brand.
The publicly traded company will see UFC owners Endeavor Group Holdings taking a 51% controlling interest, and existing WWE shareholders 49%.
The business will be led by Endeavor chief executive Ari Emanuel.
WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon will fill the same role at the company, with Dana White remaining Ultimate Fighting Championship president.
McMahon retired last year following misconduct claims but returned to the WWE board in January and suggested the company could be for sale.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” said Emanuel.
“For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”
WWE has a global reach and fanbase, which includes a wide age demographic and range of incomes.
The company had more than 16 billion social media video views in the final quarter of 2022. It has nearly 94 million YouTube subscribers and has more than 20 million followers on TikTok.
Five of its female wrestlers are in the world’s top 15 most-followed female athletes across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, led by former UFC fighter Ronda Rousey with 36.1 million followers. (BBC)