- Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon is said to want at least $9 billion for the company, according to Bloomberg.
- McMahon returned to the WWE board in January after stepping down last year amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
- He has been considering a sale since his return, and several offers have reportedly been submitted.
Former CEO Vince McMahon reportedly wants at least $9 billion in the potential sale of World Wrestling Entertainment, Bloomberg reported Friday.
McMahon, who spent years growing WWE into an entertainment giant, resigned from the company last year amid investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and millions of dollars in non-disclosure agreements.
Although McMahon was still the controlling shareholder when he retired, his daughter Stephanie and Nick Khan were to serve as co-CEOs after he stepped down. But in January, McMahon returned to serve on the WWE board weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported that he was confident the allegations against him were “blown up” and he could return to the company.
The WWE Board’s internal investigation into McMahon ended in November, but the results have not been made public.
Upon his return, WWE said it would “review its strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for all WWE shareholders,” which pretty much meant the company was considering a sale.
A day after McMahon’s return, WWE also announced that Stephanie McMahon was stepping down as co-CEO, and that Khan would serve as the sole CEO going forward.
Bloomberg and Front Office Sports have reported that several offers have been submitted to buy WWE. Businesses such as Netflix, Comcast, Disney, Endeavor Group, which already has a controlling stake in the UFC, or international groups such as the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia have been linked to WWE as potential bidders.
The Saudi Arabian fund has already made several investments in sports and entertainment, the most public of which is the controversial LIV Golf, a series other than the PGA Tour. LIV Golf and other sporting events such as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have sparked accusations that Middle Eastern countries are using money and sports to “spin” themselves and draw attention to issues such as civil rights records.
Last month, Khan said reports that a sale to the fund of Saudi Arabia was completed in principle “absolutely false.”
McMahon’s desired $9 billion is a big ask considering the company reported $1.29 billion in sales last year, and the $9 billion price tag is about 23 times the company’s operating income, according to Bloomberg.
A WWE spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent Saturday afternoon.