Endeavor Group nears deal to acquire WWE (report)

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) is about to be acquired by Endeavor Group Holdings Inc.

CNBC and Bloomberg were the first to report on the current acquisition transaction. The report says “no final decision has been made” and negotiations could fail.

The talks coincide as WrestleMania 39, one of the organization’s main annual events, continues to unfold. The two-day pay-per-view and streaming extravaganza wraps up Sunday night, with more than 80,000 fans in attendance in Los Angeles.

WWE has been actively exploring an acquisition deal for some time now. Vince McMahonthe longtime public face and majority owner of the professional wrestling organization, income to the company as executive chairman in January. McMahon left his WWE management role last year amid investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, leaving his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, to serve as chairman and co-CEO alongside Nick Khan, who was previously president of the company.

“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry-wide demand for premium content and live events and with more companies seeking to own the intellectual property on their platforms,” ​​Vince McMahon said in a statement. coinciding with his return to the company. “The only way WWE can fully capitalize on this opportunity is for me to return as Executive Chairman and support the management team in negotiations for our media rights and combine that with a review of strategic alternatives.”

In March, McMahon refunded the $17.4 million in costs incurred by the investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Although reports of McMahon’s troubled history have cast an unflattering spotlight on corporate leadership, WWE still represents a desirable asset for entertainment companies looking to add professional sporting event broadcasts and their dedicated audiences. to their arsenal. WWE shares have soared 33% this year as speculation surrounding an acquisition has intensified.

Endeavour, the powerhouse of the entertainment agency run by Ari Emanuel, has a plan to incorporate WWE into its assets. Endeavor has mounted a successful integration of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after acquiring 100% of the martial arts promotion company in 2021.

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