WWE engages JPMorgan to help on sale
A report on CNBC.com states that WWE has hired the services of JPMorgan to help them on the potential sale.
When approached for comment, JPMorgan declined to answer questions while a WWE spokesman couldn’t be reached.
CNBC adds that if WWE were to really sell, a deal could potentially be struck within the next three to six months. The timeline came from individuals involved in the process who declined to be named due to the private discussions.
What is clear is that WWE intents to shop around for a buyer before making a decision on their television rights agreements which are coming up next year. Deals for TV rights usually are struck a year before they are set to expire.
Meanwhile, FrontOfficeSports.com is reporting that another probable bidder for WWE has popped up: the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Saudi Arabia has recently ramped up their efforts to purchase or launch sports-related leagues in their global sports expansion plan and with a whopping $620 billion, yes, billion, in assets, purchasing WWE is just a small drop in a bucket.
WWE already has a good working relationship with the Kingdom: the country’s General Sports Authority forks out $50 million for each WWE show that is held in Saudi Arabia and their agreement is for 10 years. With two shows per year, you can do the math on how much money the Saudis are investing in WWE.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund recently launched LIV Golf Tour to challenge the PGA Tour and a few years ago purchased a majority stake in the English Premier League team Newcastle United.
“In the same way they did LIV, there’s an unlimited faucet of dollars there,” LightShed Partners analyst Brandon Ross told Front Office Sports. “The Saudis are already a decent part of the profitability of the company just on those two events alone. They’re trying to be relevant in the entertainment world.”
FrontOfficeSports also listed Amazon, Comcast, Endeavor, Liberty Media and CAA as potential bidders for WWE.