According to Vince McMahon, he has returned to WWE simply to help facilitate the sale of the company.
Whether the company is sold, goes private, or continues to operate as it is, there will be no shortage of parties interested in a potential deal. In fact, one of these parties is reportedly considering putting a bid together should WWE officially go up for sale.
Saudi Public Investment Fund Eying WWE Deal
As reported by Front Office Sports, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is emerging as a possible bidder for the company. The PIF already controls a staggering $620 billion in assets and WWE could be the latest addition to their portfolio.
If the name sounds familiar, PIF are the majority owner of English Premier League club Newcastle United and sparked controversy in 2022 with the launch of LIV Golf, a rival to the established PGA Tour.
“In the same way they did LIV, there’s an unlimited faucet of dollars there,” LightShed Partners analyst Brandon Ross told Front Office Sports. “The Saudis are already a decent part of the profitability of the company just on those two [Saudi-based WWE] events alone. They’re trying to be relevant in the entertainment world.”
The report also notes that “sources” have put forward the following as other potential buyers:
- Amazon entered the U.S. sports business in a big way with a $1 billion-a-year deal to exclusively stream the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” through 2033.
- Comcast’s NBCUniversal Media and Fox Corp., which already boasts media rights deals for “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night Smackdown” respectively
- Endeavor purchased a controlling stake in the UFC for $4 billion in 2016.
- Liberty Media acquired Formula One for $4.4 billion in 2016.
- Global talent agency CAA.
WWE already have a long-established relationship with Saudi Arabia, announcing a ten-year partnership with the kingdom back in 2018. Since the deal began, eight Premium Live Events have been held in Saudi Arabia, with WWE hosting two-per year, although this was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.