Is there trouble brewing within TKO, the new merged WWE-UFC company? Because McMahon is in the process of selling off 25% of his shares.
What is Vince McMahon up to?
Vince McMahon is either a great business partner or a serious legal liability depending on who you ask, and when. Maybe he’s both at the same time. Most recently, UFC CEO Dana White praised McMahon for giving UFC the keys to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, setting up a deal that will see the combat sports promotion hold its first event in Riyadh in March.
On the other hand, corporate parent entity TKO’s SEC filings have Vince McMahon prominently featured as a potential problem for their stock prices.
“Mr. McMahon’s membership on our Board could expose us to negative publicity and/or have other adverse financial and operational impacts on our business,” the SEC filing read. “His membership also may result in additional scrutiny or otherwise exacerbate the other risks described herein. Any of these outcomes could directly or indirectly have adverse financial and operational impacts on our business.”
This is directly related to McMahon’s history of sexual misconduct, which led to him briefly retiring in 2022. He forced his way back onto the board later to oversee the $21 billion UFC-WWE merger into TKO.
But now McMahon is causing a lot of raised eyebrows with his decision to dump 25% of his TKO stock for $670 million. That news (reported by Variety) came out in a prospectus filed on Friday (Nov. 10, 2023) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
TKO plans on buying back $100 million of the stock being put on sale by McMahon.
It’s an interesting decision from McMahon, who has been the subject of behind-the-scenes rumors since the UFC-WWE merger came about. Reports from WWE insiders has McMahon largely removed from the day-to-day creative side of the WWE — a call made by Endeavor head honcho Ari Emanuel himself. In the past, Vince was a persistent player in this realm, to the frustration of everyone trying to cultivate a less chaotic product.
Now McMahon’s big stock selloff adds fuel to the fire that he may be getting pushed out of power within the new corporate entity that is TKO. It’s certainly never a sign that things are going well when a major insider in a publicly traded company sells off a significant percentage of their stock. If they expected it to go up in the next quarter or two, they’d just hold and then sell then. Unless something interesting is coming.
We’ll keep you in the loop as this story develops.
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