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Nick thought selling WWE could happen quickly… maybe three months


Squawk on Twitter on the street

WWE CEO Nick Khan was a guest on CNBC whoop in the street Today (February 3), discussing yesterday’s financial reports and investor conference call — and all the drama and intrigue surrounding the company since Vince McMahon’s return to the board earlier this year.

During his appearance on the show, Khan reiterated several WWE points about McMahon’s return and the sale of the company that the CEO is reportedly pursuing. Among them was that it made sense to investigate a sale before negotiating the next round of media rights deals, especially since many of the companies WWE would talk to about those deals are on their list of potential buyers.

That prompted Khan to offer a possible timeframe for the sale:

“Quick. Sorry, I’m not trying to be so arrogant in saying that. I think it’s going to be a quick process. Three months maybe.”

In terms of suitors, a Wells Fargo report came up that listed Netflix, Amazon, and Comcast/NBCUniversal as the most likely buyers. Host David Faber said he heard Comcast (the current owner of local rights to Raw, NXT, the WWE Network, and parent company of CNBC) “might not have been interested at this point.” Fabre hears more about UFC parent company Endeavor. Khan responded, saying they are all still on his list:

“Look, I think it’s all possible. We’re still bullish about the potential for Comcast. There’s a lot I can say about it right now, but we’ve certainly had a warm reception in the market from people who seem interested.”

The CEO also reiterated his comments from the investor call about Vince’s involvement in the company’s aftermarket. Faber brought up McMahon’s future as a possible roadblock to a deal several times, and Khan stuck to his gun each time:

“You’re right, he’s very hard to control. And he’s built an empire that’s certainly been good by and for me. But no, Vince told the board, me and other senior management — he’s 100% open to a deal where he’s not listed with the company in the future.” “I really think he’s looking for the best shareholder value. Keep in mind he’s also a large shareholder. He’s 77 years old, and I think he’s ready to look at the landscape.”

Another point made yesterday, Khan said McMahon has not been involved in the creative process since his return.




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