ESPN sells majority stake in X Games to private equity firm
The X Games are on hold, but we’ve seen the power of private equity before …
As we all watch the X Games in Orlando, the games are now owned by X Games Holding LLC, a privately held company founded in 2009. X Games Holding is the name of the firm, rather than X Games Inc., and its corporate parent is X Games, LLC, which is owned by the Guggenheim family. It was formed in 2011 and has been privately owned ever since, with the sole stated goal of keeping the X Games in California.
But for the last seven years, when we’ve been wondering when the X Games would return, the Guggenheim family has resisted any involvement in the games. X Games CEO Randy Brown, who has been with the company since the early 2000s, was a key part of the Guggenheim family’s decision to keep the X Games business as separate from the rest of the Guggenheim empire.
But as the games have declined since their inaugural 2004, the X Games have remained a public company: The private company that is X Games Holding LLC was formed to manage the X Games. The company was created to continue the X Games’ public mission and “to promote professional sports and entertainment.”
On October 1, 2016, X Games Holding LLC merged with the X Games, the events-only version that’s operated in California since 2004. Now, in addition to being the events-only version of the X Games, X Games Holdings LLC is the general partner of the X Games and is an operator of the X Games. Like X Games Holding LLC, X Games Holdings LLC was created in 2011, when both X Games LLC and X Games Holding LLC were founded.
The Guggenheim family and the X Games
X Games Holding LLC is a private company that represents the interests of the Guggenheim family and was created after X Games LLC and X Games Holding LLC to “pursue the development of the X Games events business and to maximize the value from that business through the merger with X Games, LLC … “
But in the last seven years, the family has resisted any involvement with the games and the Guggenheim family has managed the company. The family has said that any future ownership role will be managed by the Guggenheim family through X Games Holdings LLC,