WWE’s Vince McMahon Plans to Sell 8.4 Million Shares of TKO Stock After UFC Merger | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors
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Executive Chairman Vince McMahon is planning on selling a significant chunk of his stake in TKO Group Holdings, the parent company of WWE following the merger with the UFC earlier this year.
TKO announced in a release on Thursday that McMahon will sell 8.4 million of his shares, which are worth nearly $700 million. Per CNBC’s Mike Calia, a recent regulatory filing showed that he owned over 28 million shares as of August. Calia noted that TKO’s stock fell five percent after Thursday’s closing bell.
The move could be an indication that McMahon is on his way out of the wrestling business. He’s not as involved in the creative process for WWE as he once was after the merger with UFC, as TKO is majority-owned by Endeavor Group. It also sounds like the new company isn’t too keen on keeping him around.
An SEC filing made by TKO on Tuesday (h/t Ross W. Berman IV of Wrestling Inc.) stated that McMahon’s board membership could lead to “negative publicity and/or have other adverse financial and operational impacts.” It went on to add McMahon’s presence could subject the company to “additional scrutiny or otherwise exacerbate the other risks described herein.”
The filing referenced last year’s special committee investigation of McMahon after it was revealed that he used company funds to make hush money payments to multiple former employees who made allegations of harassment or sexual misconduct. After the revelation, the 78-year-old left WWE for a time before returning in January to facilitate the merger with the UFC.
In August, McMahon was served with a federal grand jury subpoena stemming from the allegations related to his hush money payments. He said at the time that he “always denied any intentional wrongdoing and continues to do so.” WWE also announced at that time that he would be taking medical leave after undergoing spinal surgery, but made it clear that he will remain Executive Chairman.
It now appears that McMahon could be on his way out sooner rather than later.
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