Reports this evening suggest that the sale of WWE could be announced on Monday.
When majority shareholder Vince McMahon announced that he had re-elected himself to the Board Of Directors in January, he noted that his key focus was on facilitating a sale of the company. With night two of the WWE’s biggest annual Premium Live Event of the year, WrestleMania, just hours away it appears that the sale is edging towards completion.
Rumours about potential buyers have been rife since that point, with the likes of Disney and Comcast were mentioned amongst those that reportedly held interest, whilst some believed a deal was close with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Endeavour close to finalizing purchase of WWE
With McMahon rumoured to want up to $9 billion to secure the sale, it was always going to be a big name in the entertainment industry that inked the deal and CNBC’s Alex Sherman has revealed this evening that Ari Emmanuel’s Endeavour group are in advanced talks to complete the purchase.
Endeavour Group are the parent company of UFC, and Sherman believes the move would see WWE and UFC merged into one publicly traded company. Endeavour would likely hold a 51% stake in the company, with WWE shareholders controlling the remaining 49%.
CNBC also report that Emanuel would act as Chief Executive of the new company, a role he currently holds in Endeavour, whilst Vince McMahon would remain on board as Executive Chairman. WWE CEO Nick Khan is expected to remain serve as President of the wrestling business and Dana White would continue as President of UFC.
With the sale being highly anticipated since McMahon’s return following his July retirement amidst an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and hush money payments, shares in WWE have risen by over 33%.
A recent SEC filing revealed that McMahon had signed a new contract with WWE and would remain Executive Chairman for two years.