With the recent corporate moves that include AT&T’s $85 billion bid for Time Warner and the more relevant $4 billion sale of Ultimate Fighting Championship to WME, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) chairman and CEO Vince Mcmahon seems to have a change of heart in selling his company.
According to the New York Post, the 71-year-old entertainment mogul said that WWE is “open for business,” reiterating a sentiment the company expressed in August. There is only one condition though, as WWE’s potential buyers would have to let WWE “control its destiny.”
McMahon addressed the selling of his company during Thursday’s WWE third quarter earnings conference call where the results have come in and the company only managed to get the lower end of their fiscal targets. WWE network’s 3-month period had an average of 1.46 million paying subscribers.
In August, the WWE CEO sold 1.55 million shares of the company’s Class A and Class B shares, leaving him about 47% of total shares and the majority ownership, as reported by Fortune. At that point, George Barrios, WWE’s financial officer and chief strategist, said that while the company was not actively searching for a buyer, they are “always open to listening” and “to anything that we thought could help us.”
Vince McMahon tried to appease to the company’s shareholders as he mentioned during the conference call that he has considered the idea of a sale, but he also wants to be able to control his own destiny. While McMahon did voice concern with the amount of control he and his family would retain after such a sale, he did say that he would have to consider the right deal.
The news of selling WWE comes following various reports that the company is experiencing a steady drop in viewership ratings. Speculations suggest that McMahon is desperate to increase the ratings of both RAW and SmackDown as both shows have struggled to bring in viewership of late and made shareholders of the company unsettled.
However, with the impending blockbuster match of the returning Bill Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar in the upcoming Survivor Series and a strong company stock valuation, it seems the likelihood that McMahon would ever sell WWE is extremely low.
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