the Wall Street Journal Catch up on last month’s report on Vince McMahon’s desire to return to power in WWE. McMahon stepped down as CEO and chairman of WWE last summer during an investigation into alleged financial payments, but now plans to make a comeback.
Vince needs the approval of the WWE Board of Directors in order to return to power as CEO. He sent a letter last month to the WWE Board of Directors expressing his intentions. According to the WSJ, “The Board of Directors has unanimously agreed that Mr. McMahon’s return to business would not be in the interest of shareholders.”
But Vince McMahon is the largest shareholder and wields the most voting power in WWE, so he wouldn’t go away so easily. He claims he wants to come back because it’s the right time to sell a company, given WWE’s $5 billion market value and upcoming negotiations for new television deals for WWE. raw And the SmackDown. This makes his return good for the company’s shareholders, since he is required to make such a sale. On top of that, Vince retains a great deal of power and only plans to play ball if he gets what he wants:
“[McMahon] Refuse to agree not to return to the company.
People said he told the board that unless he had a direct role as CEO from the start of a strategic review, he would not support or approve any deal or sale of media rights.”
With that in mind, Vince’s plan to win his place back is very much underway. Below is a new press release from McMahon detailing the actions he took to elect himself, Michelle Wilson, and George Barrios to the board:
Vince McMahon, founder and controlling shareholder of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (“WWE” or the “Company”) (NYSE: WWE), announced today that he has taken the necessary actions to position the Company to capitalize on a unique opportunity to maximize value for a long time. Term to all WWE shareholders.The actions, which the WWE Board of Directors were notified today by written approval, include the election to the Board of Directors of Mr. McMahon, as well as Michelle Wilson and George Barrios – former WWE co-chairs and board members, and currently co-founders and co-CEOs of Isos Capital Management – and the required removal from the board of three directors Mr. McMahon expects to take over as CEO of the board.
Mr. McMahon’s new role will enable unified decision-making through the company’s upcoming media rights negotiations and a parallel full review of the company’s strategic alternatives, which Mr. McMahon believes is the right course of action and in the interests of WWE shareholders and WWE among them. Current dynamics in the media and entertainment industry. As Mr. McMahon has informed the Board of Directors, he believes there is a narrow window of opportunity to create significant value for all shareholders and that to do so, review of strategic alternatives must take place in conjunction with media rights negotiations. He also expressed to the Board his belief that these two initiatives require Mr. McMahon’s direct involvement, leadership and support as the controlling shareholder.
“WWE is entering a critical juncture in its history with upcoming media rights negotiations coinciding with increased industry demand for quality content and live events and with more companies seeking intellectual property on their platforms,” said Mr. McMahon. The only way for WWE to take full advantage of this opportunity is for me to return as CEO and support the management team in negotiations for our media rights and combine that with reviewing strategic alternatives. My return will allow WWE, as well as any other parties to the transactions, to participate in these processes knowing that they will have support of the controlling shareholder.
Prior to providing written consent, Mr. McMahon sent two separate letters to the Board of Directors in late December expressing the urgency of his return to the Company as CEO and his desire to work collaboratively with the Board and management team. After conversations with company representatives prior to and after Mr. McMahon’s final speech on December 31, Mr. McMahon has determined, consistent with his rights as a controlling shareholder, that the steps announced today are necessary to maximize value for all WWE shareholders.
Mr. McMahon said, “Ms. Wilson and Mr. Barrios are highly qualified managers and their professional experience positions them well to help the company achieve the best possible results in both initiatives. As former WWE co-presidents and board members, they are intimately familiar with the dynamics of the industry and the operations of the organization and have They helped guide the company through previous successful media rights negotiations. I look forward to working closely again with Michelle and George – as well as the remaining directors and management team of the company, who have my full support and confidence. WWE has an exceptional management team, and I do not intend for them to be My return would have no impact on their roles, duties or responsibilities.”
In conjunction with the changes to the WWE Board of Directors, Mr. McMahon’s written approval also includes some amendments to the company’s bylaws to ensure that WWE governance continues to properly enable and uphold shareholder rights. These changes will be detailed in Amendment to Schedule 13D that Mr. McMahon will file and Form 8-K that the Company will file in the coming days.
No assurances can be given as to the outcome or timing of the review. Mr. McMahon does not intend to provide further comment until the process is concluded or Mr. McMahon otherwise determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required.”
You can read between the lines there to see that Vince is emphasizing that his return to power is in the best interest of the company, and is in fact required to facilitate some of these major business moves that will benefit the company’s shareholders.
This is just the beginning of what appears to be a huge developing storyline of McMahon’s power play to return to WWE. We’ll give you more as we have it, Cagesiders.