5 things you need to know about the multi-billion dollar deal to sell WWE to Saudi Arabia

5 things you need to know about the multi-billion dollar deal to sell WWE to Saudi Arabia
Stephanie McMahon announced her resignation as co-CEO of WWE on January 10 while her father, Vince McMahon, has rejoined the company as executive chair (wwe.com and Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Disclaimer: This article is based on sources and MEAWW cannot verify this information independently.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Days after Stephanie McMahon announced her resignation as co-CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and her father, Vince McMahon, returned as the executive chair of the popular wrestling-entertainment franchise, there is another big change on the horizon. Reports have emerged stating that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) may be purchasing the company in a multi-billion dollar deal. However, an official confirmation is still awaited and the facts of the matter are yet to be verified at the time of writing this article.

ADVERTISEMENT

As per a report by Harper's Bazaar Arabia, a deal has been finalized with PIF for the sale of WWE. In their report, Harper's Bazaar Arabia quoted DAZN Wrestling reporter Steven Muehlhausen as having received the information of the sale through his sources. Muehlhausen reportedly tweeted: "Sources: #WWE has been sold to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The company will go back to being private. Unknown if Vince McMahon will return to head of creative but it is expected by some people." As a deal between PIF and WWE seems to be in the offing, we bring you the five most pressing questions every wrestling fan is asking. 

ALSO READ

WWE diva Naomi likely to return to arena months after dramatically walking out over creative differences

'Finished 2022 like a champ!' Former WWE star Mandy Rose makes $1M on FanTime in December

WWE deal likely to see over $6 billion bid  

In 2021, a year after the COVID pandemic paralyzed the world, the Vince McMahon-owned company had seen its revenue increase by 12% to $1.095 billion and operating income increase by 24% to $259.0 million. WWE has 13 subsidiaries, including Tapout and Alpha Entertainment, and nine divisions that cover a range of merchandise and products, including music, books, studios, and performance centers. 

ADVERTISEMENT

If reports are to be believed, PIF is expected to bid anywhere between $5-7 billion for the company. The PIF controls more than $600 billion in assets. Getting ownership of WWE would add to PIF's portfolio of sports-based assets, which includes English Premier League club Newcastle United and the professional golf tour, LIV golf. However, there are several other contenders in the fray to buy the over $6 billion franchise.     

Comcast and PIF among top bidders

At the time of writing this article, no deal has been finalized, but several news reports suggest that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund PIF has managed to strike an over $6 billion deal with McMahon to take control of the company and its assets. However, popular journalist Ariel Helwani has claimed that the reports could be misleading as it is not set in ink yet. 

ADVERTISEMENT



 

While PIF was among the bidders, earlier news reports had placed Comcast as the forerunner to the buying bid. Other contenders, as per Wrestling Inc, included  Disney, Endeavor Group Holdings, Amazon, Netflix, FOX, Liberty Media, Warner Bros. Discovery, RedBird Capital and All Elite Wrestling. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Vince McMahon likely to take over as Head of Creative 

As per the DAZN report, cited by several media houses reporting on the story, Vince McMahon is expected to be officiating over the company as Head of Creative. Stephanie, the former co-CEO, had in her tweet announcing her resignation, also spoke about her father, Vince, taking over as WWE's executive chair. She informed in her tweet that her husband, Paul "Triple H" Levesque would be continuing as the company's chief content officer and Nick Khan will also be continuing in his role as Co-CEO. 

"Our founder, Vince McMahon, has returned as Executive Chair and is leading an exciting process regarding strategic alternatives. And with Nick's leadership and Paul "Triple H" Levesque as Chief Content Officer, I am confident that WWE is in the perfect place to continue to provide unparalleled creative content and drive maximum value for shareholders," Stephanie said in her tweet. 

ADVERTISEMENT



 

Several wrestlers may leave if PIF wins bid: Reports 

A change in ownership is not expected to create any major changes to planned events and fans can expect the same entertainment even after a deal is struck. However, changes in the long run are hard to predict at the moment and would depend largely on the company that makes the final bid to take control of the multibillion-dollar franchise. If Saudi Arabia's PIF emerges as the top bidder, then more WWE events should be expected in the Middle Eastern country and as per a Wrestling News report, several stars may choose to exit the franchise. A similar statement was made by Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com. 

ADVERTISEMENT



 

WWE fans slam Vince over possibility of deal with Saudi

Netizens have lashed out at Vince McMahon, who was recently accused of sexual misconduct, ever since the news of a possible deal with the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund emerged. Notably, several people and a few states have accuse PIF of large-scale human rights violations and their favorite franchise being given to the state-owned entity has not gone down well with fans. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Vince McMahon coming back out of nowhere to take WWE away from his kids and sell it to Saudi Arabia is the most Vince McMahon thing that has ever happened," a fan wrote lashing out at the WWE owner. Another fan wrote: "nah jokes aside, if WWE is actually purchased by Saudi Arabia. I ain’t watching that s**t".  A third fan commented, "So Vince McMahon...A man who retired from WWE due to ongoing allegations of sexual misconduct...bullied his way back onto the board of directors after saying he was done...just sell his billion dollar company...to Saudi Arabia. That. Is. F*****g. Nuts."



 

ADVERTISEMENT



 



 

ADVERTISEMENT

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

Share this article: 5 things you need to know about the multi-billion dollar deal to sell WWE to Saudi Arabia