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Endeavor (company)

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Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc.
Formerly
  • William Morris Endeavor (2009-2013)
  • WME-IMG (2013-2017)
TypePublic
NYSEEDR
IndustryTalent and literary agencies
Predecessors
Founded2009; 14 years ago (2009)
in Beverly Hills, California, United States
Headquarters
Beverly Hills, California
,
United States
Key people
Patrick Whitesell (Executive chairman)
Ari Emanuel (CEO)
RevenueIncrease US$5.08 billion (2021)
Increase US$−22 million (2021)
Increase US$−467 million (2021)
Total assetsIncrease US$11.43 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease US$2.12 billion (2021)
Number of employees
c. 7,700 (2021)
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.endeavorco.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as William Morris Endeavor and WME-IMG) is an American holding company for talent and media agencies with its primary offices in Beverly Hills, California, United States.[2][3] The company was founded in April 2009 after the merger of the William Morris Agency and the original Endeavor Talent Agency. Endeavor represents artists in film, television, music, theater, digital media, and publishing.[4] It also represents the NFL and NHL.[5] Endeavor owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship.[6] It is headed by CEO Ari Emanuel and executive chairman Patrick Whitesell.

The group used to own film and television production company Endeavor Content, but sold a majority stake in that division to South Korean entertainment and retail company CJ ENM in January 2022,[7] with the company subsequently being renamed to Fifth Season.[8]

Discover more about Endeavor (company) related topics

Holding company

Holding company

A holding company is a company whose primary business is holding a controlling interest in the securities of other companies. A holding company usually does not produce goods or services itself. Its purpose is to own shares of other companies to form a corporate group.

California

California

California is a state in the Western United States, located along the Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), it is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. It is also the most populated subnational entity in North America and the 34th most populous in the world. The Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions respectively, with the former having more than 18.7 million residents and the latter having over 9.6 million. Sacramento is the state's capital, while Los Angeles is the most populous city in the state and the second most populous city in the country. San Francisco is the second most densely populated major city in the country. Los Angeles County is the country's most populous, while San Bernardino County is the largest county by area in the country. California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; and it has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west.

William Morris Agency

William Morris Agency

The William Morris Agency (WMA) was a Hollywood-based talent agency. It represented some of the best known 20th-century entertainers in film, television, and music. During its 109-year tenure it came to be regarded as the "first great talent agency in show business".

Endeavor Talent Agency

Endeavor Talent Agency

The Endeavor Talent Agency was a Beverly Hills-based talent agency founded by Ari Emanuel, Rick Rosen, Tom Strickler, and David Greenblatt. It was launched in March 1995 and went on to represent a wide variety of acclaimed film and television stars. In April 2009, Emanuel and Endeavor executive Patrick Whitesell orchestrated a merger with the William Morris Agency, resulting in William Morris Endeavor. William Morris Endeavor was renamed Endeavor in October 2017.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Zuffa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Endeavor Group Holdings. It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world as of 2011. It produces events worldwide that showcase 12 weight divisions and abides by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. As of 2022, it had held over 600 events. Dana White has been its president since 2001. Under White's stewardship, it has grown into a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

Ari Emanuel

Ari Emanuel

Ariel Zev Emanuel is an American businessman and the CEO of Endeavor, an entertainment and media agency that owns the UFC. He was a founding partner of the Endeavor Talent Agency and was instrumental in shaping its June 2009 merger with the William Morris Agency.

Patrick Whitesell

Patrick Whitesell

Patrick Whitesell is an American businessman and executive chairman of Endeavor, an entertainment and media agency. He joined the Endeavor Talent Agency as a partner in February 2001, where he was a member of the company’s Executive Committee.

CJ ENM

CJ ENM

CJ ENM is a South Korean entertainment and retail company founded in 2018.

History

Beginnings

The Endeavor Talent Agency launched in 1995.[9] By 2009, it was one of the fastest-growing Hollywood talent agencies, with The New York Times singling out its reputation for "quick thinking, ferocity and barely bridled ambition".[10]

William Morris Endeavor

On April 27, 2009, WMA and the Endeavor Talent Agency announced that they were forming William Morris Endeavor, or "WME".[11] Endeavor executives Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell were widely seen as the architects of the merger and quickly became the Co-CEOs of WME.[12] Following the official announcement of the merger, nearly 100 WMA employees and former board members were let go. One of those leaving was Jim Wiatt, who came to WMA in 1999 from International Creative Management, where he was vice-chairman. He had joined WMA as president and co-chief executive officers, and had risen to board chairman.[13] Following the merger, WME moved its headquarters into the offices of Endeavor at 9601 Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Beverly Hills.[14]

In 2011, Emanuel was quoted in a Financial Times profile about the company saying, "We built a culture where people are rewarded for taking risks."[15] Emanuel and Whitesell implemented several leadership strategies to boost the productivity of their agents, most notably, the "Farmhouse" training program.[16]

Expansion

Endeavor grew to include several subsidiary companies and expanded divisions. Fortune named co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell to their 2010 "Businessperson of the Year" list, acknowledging their corporate growth strategies.[17] Emanuel had previously been recognized as a 21st-century "super agent" by both The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, as well as an Advertising Age "Influencer."[18][19][20]

In July 2011, the company and its foundation created Camp Summer Eagle, which provides donations and activities for schoolchildren at Foster Elementary in Compton, California.[21]

Shortly after the merger, WME helped launch the investment group Raine,[22] which aligned the company with properties like Vice Media and Zumba Fitness. In 2010, WME partnered with RED Interactive,[23] a digital advertising agency. Two years later, they formed an alliance with the social media management firm TheAudience,[24] partnering with digital entrepreneur Sean Parker and executing social campaigns for properties like the Seth MacFarlane motion picture Ted and the Coachella Music Festival.[25] 2013 brought a strategic partnership between WME and creative music agency Jingle Punks, which creates, publishes and licenses music. WME is also an investor in the e-commerce platform [OpenSky], which was named one of America's "Most Promising Companies" by Forbes.[26] In 2013, Whitesell and Emanuel were profiled in Fast Company, highlighting the company's digital growth.[27]

On May 2, 2012, WME and Silver Lake Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm based in Silicon Valley, signed an agreement for Silver Lake to acquire a 31.25% minority stake in the agency for $250 million.[28] A new executive committee, consisting of Co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell and Silver Lake Managing Director Egon Durban, leads the company's growth strategy and investment activities.[29][30] In July 2013, WME acquired a minority stake in the creative agency Droga5. The partnership combines the companies’ advertising and entertainment resources.[31]

WME-IMG

On December 18, 2013, WME and Silver Lake announced the acquisition of IMG for $2.4 billion.[32] WME’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell took over as co-CEOs. On January 21, 2015, it was announced that WME had acquired Global eSports Management (GEM), an international agency representing various esports and professional video game players and personalities.[33] In April 2015, they bought the Professional Bull Riders.[34] On September 23, 2015, it was announced that WME/IMG would be partnering with Turner Broadcasting to create a televised esports league, the ELeague.[35]

On September 14, 2015, WME acquired from Donald Trump the Miss Universe Organization, which produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants and related content. The organization sells television rights to the pageants in other countries. Financial details were not disclosed.[36]

Softbank and Fidelity Investments in early 2016 invested in WME-IMG. The company formed a joint venture in June 2016 for China with Sequoia Capital, Tencent and Fountainvest Partners.[37]

On July 9, 2016, Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship, was sold to a group led by WME-IMG, its owner Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and MSD Capital, for $4.025 billion, the largest-ever acquisition in the sports industry.[38][39] On August 22, 2016, WME acquired the literary agency Rabineau Wachter Sanford & Gillett (RWSG); its co-founders, Sylvie Rabineau and Jill Holwager Gillett, head a division of WME involved in the coordination of screen adaptations of literature.[40][41] WME/IMG purchased in August 2017 a majority stake in Bloom, a film finance and sales company led by Ken Kao and Alex Walton.[42]

Endeavor

WME-IMG reorganized in October 2017 with the parent company being renamed from WME-IMG to Endeavor. Ari Emanuel became Endeavor CEO and Patrick Whitesell became Endeavor executive chairman. The general talent agency retained the WME name as the sports agency retained the IMG name.[43]

In October 2017, Endeavor Content was formed from the WME's and IMG's film financing and scripted TV sales units, WME's advisory group for film financiers and content producers and Bloom, which will continue to operate autonomously. Appointed as co-presidents of Endeavor Content were Graham Taylor and Chris Rice with additional hires of Negeen Yazdi as senior vice president of film and Joe Hipps as senior vice president of television.[44]

On November 15, 2017, actor Terry Crews stated on Good Morning America that Adam Venit, head of WME's motion picture department, had squeezed Crews' genitals with his hand at an industry party in February 2016. WME responded they had suspended Venit following an internal investigation,[45] on November 27, 2017, it was announced Venit would return to work after a month's unpaid leave.[46] On December 4, 2017, lawyers acting on behalf of Terry Crews filed suit against WME and Venit stating "It is now time to hold Venit accountable for his sexual predatory behavior and to hold WME accountable for its conduct in condoning, ratifying, and encouraging Venit's sexual predatory behavior".[47]

Third Coast Content, a faith and family audiences production and publishing company, was founded in February 2018 by veteran film executive Ben Howard as CEO with Endeavor Content as an investor and as its provider of sales and advisory services.[48] In April 2019, Droga5 was acquired by Accenture.[49]

Initial public offering

On May 24, 2019, Endeavor filed forms for an initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would have valued the company at $7.6 billion. The form detailed Endeavor's revenue was $3.61 billion in 2018 with a net income of $100.1 million after adjustments, and potential risks involved of being potentially sued “over alleged long-term neurocognitive impairment arising from concussions”, "collective bargaining to unionize the MMA athletes", and "five related class-action lawsuits filed against it alleging that UFC violated Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 by monopolizing the alleged market for elite professional MMA athletes' services".[50][51][52] Also included in the filing was the statement that subsidiary WME Dragon Holdings LLC, which bought 49 percent of advertising agency Droga5 in 2013, agreed to sell its interest in Droga5 to Accenture Interactive for $233 million.[53]

On September 26, 2019, a day before it planned to go public, Endeavor Group announced that the IPO had been postponed in order to "evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop."[54] Contributing factors were reported to be the under-performance of the recent IPO for Peloton,[55] and an ongoing lawsuit with several former UFC fighters.[56]

On March 30, 2021, Endeavor Group announced a new planned IPO for later in 2021, with Elon Musk and Fawn Weaver nominated to join its board of directors.[57][58][59] On April 28, 2021, Endeavor Group went public on the New York Stock Exchange.[60] Endeavor subsequently used some of the proceeds from the IPO to buy out Zuffa's other shareholders at a value of $1.7 billion, making Zuffa a wholly-owned subsidiary of Endeavor.[6] On July 19, 2021, Ursula Burns joined the board of directors.[61] On September 27, 2021, Endeavor announced that it would acquire OpenBet for $1.2 billion in cash and stock.[62] In March 2022, Musk resigned from the board.[63]

Divestment of Endeavor Content

In 2019, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) filed a lawsuit against the four major Hollywood talent agencies, including WME, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), United Talent Agency (UTA) and ICM Partners, over their usage of packaging deals (under which a talent agency offers a production utilizing its represented writers, directors, and/or actors as a "package" to prospective studios),[64] which the WGA asserted to be an illegal conflict of interest under state and federal law.[65]

As part of agreements that would allow them to resume representing writers, the WGA called for talent agencies to reduce their interest in co-owned production companies, as they considered talent agencies owning their own production companies to also be a conflict of interest.[66] In February 2021, Endeavor agreed to a new franchising deal with the WGA, under which it must cease the use of packaging deals, and not hold more than a 20% stake in production companies affiliated with the agency, thus necessitating that it divest at least 80% of Endeavor Content.[67]

On June 8, 2021, Endeavor began to seek a partner for the division in compliance with the agreement, with the whole sales team returning to the company to start the process.[68][69][70] On October 28, 2021, Endeavor started to solicit second-round bids for more than $750 million, with three equity firms and two strategic companies among those in the running.[71] On November 19, 2021, South Korean conglomerate CJ ENM reached a deal to acquire the stake for $775 million. The acquisition primarily covers the company's scripted business, with Endeavor retaining its non-scripted, documentary, and film consulting businesses. The sale is CJ ENM's largest acquisition to-date.[7] The $785 million purchase was completed in January 2022.[72] In September 2022, the company was renamed to Fifth Season; the name stems from Eastern medicine, which recognizes the so-called "fifth season" as a celebratory time of harvest in late summer, thus representing the company's focus on global ideas and content.[8]

On October 26, 2022, JKN Global Group acquired Miss Universe Organization (MUO) from Endeavor for $14 million.[73]

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Endeavor Talent Agency

Endeavor Talent Agency

The Endeavor Talent Agency was a Beverly Hills-based talent agency founded by Ari Emanuel, Rick Rosen, Tom Strickler, and David Greenblatt. It was launched in March 1995 and went on to represent a wide variety of acclaimed film and television stars. In April 2009, Emanuel and Endeavor executive Patrick Whitesell orchestrated a merger with the William Morris Agency, resulting in William Morris Endeavor. William Morris Endeavor was renamed Endeavor in October 2017.

Cinema of the United States

Cinema of the United States

The cinema of the United States, consisting mainly of major film studios along with some independent films, has had a large effect on the global film industry since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is classical Hollywood cinema, which developed from 1910 to 1969 and is still typical of most films made there to this day. While Frenchmen Auguste and Louis Lumière are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, American cinema soon came to be a dominant force in the emerging industry. As of 2017, it produced the third-largest number of films of any national cinema, after India and China, with more than 600 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also produce films in the same language, they are not part of the Hollywood system. Because of this, Hollywood has also been considered a transnational cinema, and has produced multiple language versions of some titles, often in Spanish or French. Contemporary Hollywood often outsources production to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The New York Times

The New York Times

The New York Times, also referred to as the Gray Lady, is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2022 to comprise 740,000 paid print subscribers, and 8.6 million paid digital subscribers. It also is a producer of popular podcasts such as The Daily. Founded in 1851, it is published by The New York Times Company. The Times has won 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any newspaper, and has long been regarded as a national "newspaper of record". For print, it is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the United States. The newspaper is headquartered at The New York Times Building in Times Square, Manhattan.

Financial Times

Financial Times

The Financial Times (FT) is a British daily business newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese holding company, Nikkei, with core editorial offices across Britain, the United States and continental Europe. In July 2015, Pearson sold the publication to Nikkei for £844 million after owning it since 1957. In 2019, it reported one million paying subscriptions, three-quarters of which were digital subscriptions. The newspaper has a prominent focus on financial journalism and economic analysis over generalist reporting, drawing both criticism and acclaim. The daily sponsors an annual book award and publishes a "Person of the Year" feature.

Fortune (magazine)

Fortune (magazine)

Fortune is an American multinational business magazine headquartered in New York City. It is published by Fortune Media Group Holdings, owned by Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon. The publication was founded by Henry Luce in 1929. The magazine competes with Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek in the national business magazine category and distinguishes itself with long, in-depth feature articles.

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is an American business-focused international daily newspaper based in New York City with international editions published in Chinese and Japanese. The Journal and its Asian editions are published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in broadsheet format and online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889. The Journal is regarded as a newspaper of record, particularly in terms of business and financial news. The newspaper has won 38 Pulitzer Prizes, the most recent in 2019.

The Guardian

The Guardian

The Guardian is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian, and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers, The Observer and The Guardian Weekly, The Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by the Scott Trust. The trust was created in 1936 to "secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of The Guardian free from commercial or political interference". The trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to maintain for The Guardian the same protections as were built into the structure of the Scott Trust by its creators. Profits are reinvested in its journalism rather than distributed to owners or shareholders. It is considered a newspaper of record in the UK.

Compton, California

Compton, California

Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and, on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city in Los Angeles County to incorporate. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,456. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Leland, downtown Compton, and Richland Farms. The city has a high poverty rate and is generally a working-class community. Furthermore, Compton is known for its high crime rate, but strong culture.

Vice Media

Vice Media

Vice Media Group LLC is an American-Canadian digital media and broadcasting company. As of June 2021, the Vice Media Group included five main business areas: VICE.com ; VICE STUDIOS VICE TV ; VICE News; and VIRTUE. It was cited as the largest independent youth media company in the world, with 35 offices.

Sean Parker

Sean Parker

Sean Parker is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, most notable for co-founding the file-sharing computer service Napster, and serving as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also co-founded Plaxo, Causes, Airtime.com, and Brigade, an online platform for civic engagement. He is the founder and chairman of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on life sciences, global public health, and civic engagement. On the Forbes 2022 list of the world's billionaires, he was ranked No. 1,096 with a net worth of US$2.8 billion.

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane is an American actor, animator, filmmaker, comedian, and singer. MacFarlane is the creator and star of the television series Family Guy and The Orville, and co-creator of the television series American Dad! and The Cleveland Show (2009–2013). He also wrote, directed, and starred in the films Ted (2012), its sequel Ted 2 (2015), and A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014).

Forbes

Forbes

Forbes is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. It is based in Jersey City, New Jersey. Competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. Forbes has an international edition in Asia as well as editions produced under license in 27 countries and regions worldwide.

Holdings

  • Endeavor (June 2016) Chinese subsidiary formed with the investments from Sequoia Capital, Tencent and FountainVest
  • Fifth Season (formerly Endeavor Content; October 2017–September 2022) film financing and scripted TV sales
    • Bloom (August 2017) majority stake, a film finance and sales company[44]
  • 160 over 90 (January 2018)
    • Third Coast Content (February 2018) investment[48]
  • Frieze, the fine arts and media company
  • Wonderful Union (August 2018) [74]
  • On Location Experiences (January 2020) majority stake, a hospitality and live events company[75]
Talent agencies
  • WME, the talent agency
  • Dixon Talent, late-night luminaries and other hosts
  • IMG, a sports, fashion and entertainment management company
    • Learfield, an intercollegiate sports marketing company
    • IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school and sports training destination
  • The Wall Group, stylists and designers
Sports organizations
  • Diamond Baseball Holdings, owns nine Minor League Baseball teams as of December 2021[76][77]
  • UFC, mixed martial arts
  • Professional Bull Riders
  • Euroleague Basketball, a joint venture between IMG and the European hoops company
  • ELeague, an eSports joint venture with Turner[43]

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IMG (company)

IMG (company)

IMG, originally known as the International Management Group, is an American global sports, events and talent management company headquartered in New York City. It has been owned by Endeavor since 2013. Trans World International (TWI) is an event and production company of IMG.

Learfield

Learfield

LEARFIELD, formerly Learfield IMG College, is a large collegiate sports marketing company, representing more than 200 of the nation's top collegiate properties including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, LEARFIELD employs more than 2,200 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the United States. The company was created in 2018 through the combination of Endeavor's IMG College division and Learfield Communications of Missouri, managed by the Atairos Group.

IMG Academy

IMG Academy

IMG Academy is a preparatory boarding school and sports training destination in Bradenton, Florida, United States. IMG Academy is set across over 600 acres and features programs consisting of sport camps for youth athletes, adult camps, a boarding school, including a post-graduate/gap-year program, events, professional and collegiate training, group hosting, and corporate retreats. IMG Academy is owned by Worcester Academy.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Zuffa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Endeavor Group Holdings. It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world as of 2011. It produces events worldwide that showcase 12 weight divisions and abides by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. As of 2022, it had held over 600 events. Dana White has been its president since 2001. Under White's stewardship, it has grown into a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

Professional Bull Riders

Professional Bull Riders

The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is an international professional bull riding organization based in Pueblo, Colorado, United States. In the U.S., PBR events have been televised on CBS and CBS Sports Network since 2012. In 2013, the PBR and CBS signed a contract that extended CBS Sport's partnership with PBR, making them the primary sports broadcaster for PBR. Also in 2013, the PBR was acquired by WME-IMG. In 2018, the PBR launched RidePass; its own subscription-based video on demand service that live-streams PBR events, as well as PBR-produced events for other western sport organizations. On July 20, 2021, RidePass switched from a subscription-based streaming service to a free, ad-supported streaming channel on Pluto TV. More than 500 cowboys from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and other countries hold PBR memberships.

ELeague

ELeague

ELeague, shortened as EL, and stylized as ΞLEAGUE is an esports league and American television show that airs on TBS. It was announced in September 2015 as a partnership between Turner Broadcasting and talent agency WME/IMG. The name "ELeague" was officially unveiled later that year.

Source: "Endeavor (company)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 2nd), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endeavor_(company).

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