The drama surrounding the sale of World Wrestling Entertainment (Report us here! Click!) Move on to the next chapter. As a Stamford, Connecticut company announced in a press release, the expertise of several third-party service providers and companies is being used in the upcoming sales process. Commercial bank The Raine Group, which is well connected to the media industry as well as in Saudi Arabia, will accompany WWE through the deal as financial advisor and trust bank. Explosive here, the Raine Group had already had the only, in the context of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA – an act providing for the registration, documentation, and approval of activity for politically active persons in the United States of foreign legal entities; editor’s note), publicly recorded meetings between financiers from the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and World Wrestling Entertainment. At the time, negotiations were underway for the “WWE Greatest Royal Rumble”, which would take place on April 27, 2018 at King Abdullah International Stadium in King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
International law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP will also act as legal advisor to WWE, while August LLC, a public relations firm, will lead negotiations as strategic communications advisor. The goal of this collaboration is to explore alternative strategies in collaboration with the WWE Board of Directors in order to obtain maximum value for WWE shareholders and other stakeholders from the sale of the company. You can find the full text of WWE’s statement below.
Stamford, Connecticut, January 12, 2023 WWE (NYSE: WWE) announced today that it has retained The Raine Group, LLC as financial advisor, Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal advisor, and August LLC as strategic communications advisor to support WWE’s management team and its Board of Directors in reviewing strategic alternatives to maximize value for all shareholders. in WWE and other stakeholders.
“WWE’s upcoming media rights cycle will take place amidst a rapidly evolving media and entertainment landscape, and we believe that exploring our strategic alternatives at this critical juncture will enable WWE to fully capitalize on the significant value of our intellectual property,” said Vince McMahon, Founder and CEO of WWE. Our stellar directors, external consultants, and executive team will provide valuable expertise and advice to help guide the company through this important process while our management team and employee base continue to deliver the results and content our fans love.”
There can be no assurances as to the outcome or timing of the Strategic Alternatives Review. WWE does not intend to provide further comment until the process is complete or the Company otherwise determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required.
As reported by American business magazine Axios, Stephanie McMahon, who recently resigned, and her husband, WWE Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque, have campaigned against the sale of the company. Days before he was reappointed as CEO, Vince McMahon said that “WWE has outstanding management, and although he’s back, he doesn’t intend to impact their roles, duties and responsibilities.”
Current members Ignace Lahoud and Man Jeet Singh resigned while Vince McMahon, George Barrios and Michelle Wilson returned to the board of directors of World Wrestling Entertainment. As an official document from WWE has now confirmed, LaHood and Singh left the company because they did not agree with Mr. Mahone’s return.
– Said’s document also revealed that Shane McMahon continued to be paid as a talent in 2022, receiving a cool $828,000.
– Meanwhile, some investors are also resisting the return of Vince McMahon. A shareholder filed a class action lawsuit against Vince McMahon in the state of Delaware. The 77-year-old is charged with breach of fiduciary duty under Section 141 of the state’s General Corporations Act. It is calling for the bylaws changes made by McMahon to be invalidated after he returned to the board on Friday and for costs and fees to be paid. Thousands of WWE contributors could be added to the group, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday night. McMahon is accused in filing the suit of using his 81 percent voting control of the company to fire three board members and replace them with people of his choosing. Additionally, the aforementioned claims apply amendments to the regulations that give McMahon himself the final say on any sales or media rights deals.
– David Shoemaker of The Ringer Wrestling Show reports that Vince McMahon returned to the WWE offices for the first time this week. Accordingly, he worked exclusively on plans to sell the company.
According to Dave Meltzer, Vince reportedly spoke to representatives from Saudi Arabia about a possible sale to WWE in July, shortly after he resigned. The fact that reports that the sale to the Saudi Public Investment Fund went stellar doesn’t mean the company couldn’t eventually be sold to the same sovereign wealth fund. Rumors are also fueled by the fact that WWE has not taken a clear stance and worded its denials very carefully and clearly.
– Meltzer also mentioned that WWE would like to complete the sale by mid-2023. In order to make this happen, JP Morgan has been working as well. In addition to the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Comcast (parent company of NBCUniversal, USA Network and Peacock), FOX, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, Amazon, Endeavor (owner of the UFC) and Liberty Media (shareholders of Formula 1, among others) Others) apply) as potential buyers.
Sources: WWE, Axios, Twitter, Wrestling Observer, Rajah