0

Saudi Arabia's PIF is 'emerging as a possible bidder for WWE if it puts itself up for sale'

Share
Saudi Arabia's PIF is 'emerging as a possible bidder for WWE if it puts itself up for sale'

Switch to LIV Golf! Saudi Arabia’s PIF ’emerges as possible bidder for WWE if it sells itself’ as fund looks to expand its ‘sports washing’ after backing rebel golf breakaway

The latest sporting endeavor for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may be in the form of professional wrestling.

If WWE plans to sell itself, PIF could be a possible bidder, according to reports from Front Office Sports.

With $620billion in assets controlled by the PIF, some of the most visible purchases it has made in the past few years have been sports properties.

In 2021, the Saudis became majority owners of Premier League club Newcastle United. In 2022, they scuppered LIV Golf’s attempt to dethrone the PGA Tour as the world’s premier golf competition.

After years of partnership, Saudi Arabia could look to buy WWE if it is for sale

After years of partnership, Saudi Arabia could look to buy WWE if it is for sale

Now, their attention can turn to wrestling. Saudi Arabia and the WWE have strengthened their relationship over the past decade.

In 2018, WWE hosted the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’ at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah – marking the first WWE event held in Saudi Arabia.

WWE would eventually commit to putting on a series of events known as the ‘WWE Crown Jewel’ that would take place as part of a ten-year deal.

These agreements are all touted as part of ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ – a framework to help diversify the kingdom’s economy and strengthen several sectors under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

This report comes after the Stamford, Connecticut-based company announced that former executive Vince McMahon will return to the board following an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity.

Vince McMahon is married to Linda McMahon – a two-time failed Republican candidate for Connecticut seats in the United States Senate and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration under former president Donald Trump.

Vince retired from the WWE board in July – with reports later revealing he paid more than $12m to quash any allegations.

Rumors that a sale may be imminent may have gained more steam after a letter from McMahon was published today.

“I believe WWE has a unique opportunity during this critical period to maximize value for its shareholders and all other stakeholders,” McMahon wrote.

‘In particular, given the rapidly evolving media landscape where more and more companies are seeking to have intellectual property offered on their streaming platforms – I strongly believe that the best thing to do for everyone of WWE shareholders and other stakeholders is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of strategic alternatives.’

It was announced earlier that Vince McMahon would be returning to the company

It was announced earlier that Vince McMahon would be returning to the company

A letter from McMahon says the Stamford, CT-based company may seek a new buyer

A letter from McMahon says the Stamford, CT-based company may seek a new buyer

If the sale floats, FOS expects other potential suitors to challenge the Saudis for the company – which brought in $1.095bn in revenue in 2021.

FOS has floated Amazon, Comcast, Fox Corporation, Liberty Media, Endeavor, and CAA as possible bidders.

Related:  Buccaneers fire offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, a favorite of Tom Brady after playoff defeat

The PIF’s involvement in this will raise more allegations of ‘sports washing’ to cover up its history of human rights abuses and its mistreatment of women.

McMahon bought the WWE – formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation or WWF – from his father in 1982.

Other potential bidders for the wrestling promoter could include Amazon, Comcast, and Fox

Other potential bidders for the wrestling promoter could include Amazon, Comcast, and Fox