Breakingviews - Capital Calls - Endeavor seeks best of Elon Musk

SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer award, in Berlin, Germany, December 1, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Pool

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - CALL MY AGENT. Endeavor, the Hollywood talent agency turned sports-and-entertainment combo, on Wednesday rebooted its initial public offering, abandoned in 2019. It also named Elon Musk as a board director. He has turned electric-car maker Tesla into a $640 billion colossus as well as creating SpaceX, a rocket-launch outfit with ambitions to go to Mars.

For all the glitz of superagent Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor, home to Miss Universe and UFC among others, the group could use Musk’s corporate stardust. Last year’s $3.5 billion Covid-hit top line was nearly a quarter down on 2019 and the company lost $655 million. Having failed once, the IPO is starting from behind, and a head-spinning five classes of stock adds more complexity, not less, to what Emanuel tried before.

But Musk comes with a darker side. One of two paragraphs about him in Endeavor’s draft prospectus lays out his run-in with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018 after he tweeted about a possible offer for Tesla. To get the best out of him, Emanuel will need the skills learned from managing the stars. (By Richard Beales)


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