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22 May 2007
Moody's Assigns Ba3 CFR to Zuffa, LLC; Outlook Stable
$300 million of Bank Debt Affected.
New York, May 22, 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate
Fighting Championship ("Zuffa") a Ba3 corporate family rating,
and a Ba3 rating and LGD4-50 to its proposed senior secured credit
facilities. The facility is comprised of a $275 million
eight year term loan B, and a $25 million six year revolving
credit facility. Both facilities are secured on a first lien basis
by the stock in subsidiaries, all major domestic subsidiary assets,
and are guaranteed by Zuffa and the major domestic subsidiaries.
The outlook is stable.
..Issuer: Zuffa, LLC
....Senior Secured Bank Credit Facility,
Assigned a range of 50 - LGD4 to Ba3
Zuffa's Ba3 corporate family rating reflects its strong first mover
position and growth prospects in the expanding sport of Mixed Martial
Arts ("MMA"). Zuffa's scale within the sport and brand
name recognition are effective barriers to entry, due to trademark
and copyright protection of its main brand, the Ultimate Fighting
Championship ("UFC"). "The UFC brand is synonymous
with MMA in the US," said Neil Begley, Moody's
Senior Vice President. The ratings also are impacted by the company's
significant revenue and free cash flow growth, and strong credit
metrics relative to most other sports entities. Its moderate debt-to-EBITDA
leverage is comfortably situated in the Ba rating category based on 2006
results, and is expected to improve. The ratings are constrained
by the firm's short history overall as well as short history of
strong performance, its small size, and its revenue concentration
in a relatively limited number of US pay-per-view events.
The facility will be used to refinance existing debt, fund the pending
acquisition of PRIDE Fighting Championships, for other general corporate
purposes, as well as to fund a dividend to Zuffa's owners.
The stable outlook is based upon Moody's expectation that the company's
credit metrics will improve somewhat over the next several years.
Moody's anticipates such improvement due to moderate near-term
debt reduction, strong revenue growth, and increasing diversity
of revenues considering the recent acquisitions and international expansion
which should provide further growth while maintaining healthy margins.
"In addition, the major costs for Zuffa and UFC such as fighter
compensation and event production and advertising, are largely variable,
limiting much of the fundamental risk exposure seen in other major sports
such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and Premier League,"
See the Moody's credit opinion posted on www.moodys.com
for additional information.
Zuffa, LLC, with its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada,
through its operating subsidiaries, is the largest promoter of Mixed
Martial Arts events in the world. Its major subsidiaries and brands
include Ultimate Fighting Championship seen in over 150 countries and
territories, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), and Pride Fighting
Championships,subject to its pending acquisition. The company's
subsidiary also co-produces and owns the television reality series,
The Ultimate Fighter, and the company has an extensive and growing
library of fight content which it is monetizing.
Senior Vice President
Media & Telecom Group
Moody's Investors Service
Senior Vice President
Media & Telecom Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.
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