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Report: Vince Asks $9 Billion for WWE, and He’s Already Received Offers


It’s been a quiet few weeks on the “Vince McMahon Returns to Sell WWE” front, but business is just getting started This new report is from Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg.


• Chairman and controlling shareholder McMahon is asking for $9 billion for the company, “according to people familiar with his thinking… who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.”

• The share price rose today (February 17), but based on yesterday’s closing price of $87.17, “the asking price was 37% greater than the company’s market capitalization of $6.5 billion.”

• Other data points that will send sticker shock to potential suitors: “The $9 billion valuation is about seven times the company’s $1.29 billion in sales last year, and 23 times its EBITDA, both at the high end of the entertainment industry.”

• Shaw wouldn’t say if these prices are close to McMahon’s price target, but his sources tell him there are already offers to buy WWE.

• The report lists UFC owner Endeavor and “investors from the Middle East who have already made significant investments in golf and soccer” as potential buyers. Show then specifically mentions the Saudis, along with a reminder that WWE CEO Nick Khan clearly denied rumors last month of a deal with Saudi Arabia.

• Consistent with rumors and other reports, Shaw writes that media companies such as Netflix and Disney may shy away from bidding on both because of Vince’s involvement. He also mentioned concerns that WWE’s product “includes the sometimes chaotic personal lives of its wrestlers.”

• While all we’ve heard from WWE officials is that they want to explore their selling options before embarking on a new media rights deal, the Bloomberg story says the company is “in the early stages of negotiations for its next television deals.”

Add it all up, and the Bloomberg report seems to bolster the position of those who have argued that McMahon used the possibility of selling to force him back on the board, but had no interest in actually selling. If this is true, the question then becomes whether Vince will be content to serve as chairman of the board, or whether he will take back control of other aspects of the company moving forward.

We’ll see how the story develops from here.

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