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Showing posts with label Endeavor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Endeavor. Show all posts

September 20, 2023

Details Behind Vince McMahon's WWE Ouster And Return

Last year, allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money payments forced Vince McMahon to step down from his role as WWE CEO. Though he retired for a time, it would be short-lived. McMahon was able to reinstate himself to the board earlier this year, though he remains under investigation by federal officials. A new story by the LA Times, in which the publication spoke to an "individual close to the board," features new insight into the company's internal investigation into McMahon and more.

According to the LA Times report, McMahon initially told the board he wouldn't stand in the way of their investigation into his actions. Additionally, McMahon reportedly agreed to step down from the board voluntarily, with some reluctance, while also claiming that each of the described encounters had been consensual and the payoffs had only been a matter of "protecting the company against potential litigation."

However, by December, McMahon had seemingly changed his mind about stepping to the side. McMahon sent a pair of letters to the company's board, informing them of his intent to return to shepherd a sale. Though the company's board, which at the time featured Stephanie McMahon and her husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque, voted unanimously against McMahon's return, the 78-year-old was able to use his voting power as a majority stockholder to replace two members and get himself back on the board.

The report indicates that McMahon viewed the internal investigation as being disloyal, and two more board members resigned in the aftermath of McMahon's return. Since then, McMahon was true to his word on setting the company up for a self, with WWE and UFC merging into TKO Group Holdings, made official earlier this month. Under the new corporate infrastructure, McMahon remains in power, serving as the Executive Chairman.

September 11, 2023

End Of An Era

Tonight's WWE Raw will be the last WWE show under the full majority control of Vince McMahon. End of an era.

August 11, 2023

Details On Endeavor Deal, WWE-UFC Merger And Plans For NXT

Following the news from earlier this week that the WWE-UFC merger under Endeavor is expected to close next month, Dave Meltzer's latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter offers up some additional details. The report states that layoffs and other efforts to save money are expected to begin within the company very soon. Additionally, Meltzer indicates that people within Endeavor are hoping to work with WWE to make NXT more of a "sustainable third brand."

The idea behind that is to increase the show's ratings, allowing it to bring in higher TV rights fees. According to Meltzer, the company hopes to make NXT a touring brand once again, with both live events and TV taped on the road. However, there is no timeline for when this will become a reality.

As for the previously discussed revival of "NXT U.K.," there is reportedly an idea for a full-time Performance Center in London, as well as the introduction of a new show focused on all of Europe. However, there will be no updates on that until at least next year.

WWE's stock price hit another record-high earlier this week, reaching $114 per share, giving the company a market valuation of nearly $8.5 billion. When the dust settles, the board of TKO will include six individuals from Endeavor and five from WWE. On the WWE side, that includes both Vince McMahon and current WWE CEO Nick Khan, as well as Steve Koonin, Nancy Teliem, and one more individual who has yet to be revealed.

In addition to remaining on the Board of Directors, Vince McMahon will own 16.4% of the stock for the new company, which will be called TKO. Stephanie McMahon will own 1.1% while Linda McMahon will have 0.3% of the company's stock. There was no word on how many shares Shane McMahon will own.

April 4, 2023

Vince McMahon tells WWE staff that Paul Levesque will remain in charge of creative process

Vince McMahon has sent an internal email to WWE employees stating that Paul Levesque will retain his position as head of creative.

On the heels of the Endeavor/WWE deal, sources have told POST Wrestling’s John Pollock that the email contains the line: “Paul Levesque will remain WWE’s chief content executive.”

Earlier, during an interview on CNBC, McMahon was asked by Scott Wapner whether he planned to be “as involved in the creative side as he has in the past.”

McMahon replied:

Yes and no. On a higher level, yes. In the weeds — which I always loved to get into the weeds in the past — no; can’t do that.

Back in 2019, after McMahon appointed Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as Executive Directors of Raw and SmackDown respectively, McMahon used similar language, saying that those two hires freed him up:

“to look at longer range story arcs and work on character development, versus being in the weeds”

An all-employee Zoom meeting for WWE staff has been arranged for 4.00 pm ET.

April 3, 2023

Triple H and Nick Khan To Receive Huge Bonus Following WWE Sale

WWE's Nick Khan and Triple H will receive a huge bonus following the news that WWE has been sold to Endeavour.

On Monday, WWE announced a transaction agreement with Endeavor that would see WWE sell to Endeavor and merge with UFC to form a new publicly traded company worth $21.5 billion. Khan will be President of WWE when the two promotions merge, while Triple H is expected to remain Chief Content Executive of WWE.

Triple H and Nick Khan will both receive large bonuses with Triple H taking in $5 million and Khan receiving $15 million.

From the SEC filing:

"In light of their significant contributions to the Company prior to and in connection with the Transactions and to promote retention, the Company, following the approval of the WWE Compensation Committee, entered into bonus letter agreements (each a “Bonus Agreement”), dated as of April 1, 2023 and effective as of April 2, 2023, with certain executive officers including Nick Khan, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Frank A. Riddick III, the Company’s President & Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Levesque, the Company’s Chief Content Officer. The Bonus Agreements each provide for a cash payment (the “Bonus”) in the event a Sale Transaction (as defined in the Bonus Agreements) is consummated on or before February 28, 2024 (unless such date is extended by the Company’s Board of Directors, in its discretion) (a “Qualifying Sale Transaction”).

For Messrs. Khan and Levesque, the amount of their Bonuses is equal to $15,000,000 and $5,000,000, respectively, with 100% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction, subject to their continuous employment through the closing date (except as otherwise noted below). For Mr. Riddick, the amount of his Bonus is equal to $5,000,000, with 60% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction and 40% of such amount payable as soon as practicable following the six-month anniversary of the closing date of a Qualifying Sale Transaction, subject to his continuous employment through each such date (except as otherwise noted below). In the event any of Messrs. Khan, Riddick and Levesque is terminated by the Company without Cause or resigns for Good Reason (each as defined in the applicable Bonus Agreement) prior to the payment date(s) described above, the unpaid portion of his respective Bonus shall vest and become payable as of the date of termination.

The foregoing description of the Bonus Agreements does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the Bonus Agreements for Messrs. Khan, Riddick and Levesque, copies of which will be filed as exhibits to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2023 and which will be incorporated by reference herein."


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. & STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to form a new, publicly listed company consisting of two iconic, complementary, global sports and entertainment brands: UFC and WWE. Upon close, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest in the new company.

Together, UFC and WWE will have global reach, impressive scale and omnichannel distribution. On a combined 2022 fiscal year-end basis, UFC and WWE achieved revenue of $2.4 billion and a 10% annual revenue growth rate since 2019.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor. “For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”

“Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders,” said Vincent K. McMahon, Executive Chairman of WWE.

McMahon continued, “Together, we will be a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity. The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands. I, along with the current WWE management team, look forward to working closely with Ari and the Endeavor and UFC teams to take the businesses to the next level.”

The new company will be led by Emanuel (Chief Executive Officer), who will also continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor, McMahon (Executive Chairman of the Board) and Mark Shapiro, who will be President and Chief Operating Officer of both Endeavor and the new company. Dana White will continue in his role as President of UFC and Nick Khan will serve as President of WWE. The Board of Directors will consist of 11 members who will be appointed at a later date, six of whom will be appointed by Endeavor and five of whom by WWE.

April 2, 2023

WWE reportedly close to sale to Endeavor

World Wrestling Entertainment is reportedly closing in on a deal to be sold to talent-agency company Endeavor Group Holdings (NYSE:EDR), already the parent of mixed martial arts league Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The sale is in advanced talks, CNBC reported, and it could be announced as soon as Monday.

It would result in a new publicly traded company focused on combat sports and entertainment, according to the report, and Endeavor would own 51% while WWE holders would own 49%.

The proposed transaction would reportedly assign WWE an enterprise value of $9.3B. WWE has a market capitalization of about $6.8B.

It would also mean the end of Vince McMahon's control of WWE after several decades.

Recent weeks have brought increasing sale speculation and WWE CEO Nick Khan said last week the company had seen "robust" interest.

source: seeking alpha

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