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Vince McMahon Reportedly Wants $9 Billion For The WWE And Even The Saudis Might Not Be Willing To Pay That Much

Jesse Grant. Getty Images.

A sad scene. On the day Penn Entertainment officially took full ownership of Barstool Sports, someone over at the WWE tried to make the sports entertainment news cycle all about them.

Sources (so, Vince) leaked (read: sent an email outlining exactly what he wanted the media to run) that the WWE's asking price is a cool $9B. And not a penny less. 

That's almost 40% above the wrestling empire's current market cap of $6.5 billion. And like 7x current revenue.

For what it's worth, it's not outrageous for buyers to pay a yuge premium… but that market cap recently went all "Undertaker popping out of the coffin" meme. Which might make some buyers balk at the price.

Giphy Images.

The stock has risen by 30% this year alone. And investors have one man to thank: Vince. Fresh off of being cancelled, Vince made his triumphant return to the squared circle as Exec Chairman. And promptly put his empire up for sale. Which had investors more horned up than 11-year-old Tyler every time he heard the glass break at the beginning of the Stone Cold theme song.

Giphy Images.

But it might be a tough sell for Vince and Co. Since pretty much everything is a tough sell right now. Mergers and acquisition have dried up like your girl when you tell her you got her tickets to Raw. Vince has high interest rates and impending economic doom (see: recession) to thank.

So, who are the potential buyers? Pretty much everyone…

Bloomberg - The list of potential buyers for the WWE includes Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., the owner of Ultimate Fighting Championship, as well as investors from the Middle East who have already made major investments in golf and soccer. Endeavor would need financial help from a third party since its market capitalization of $10.4 billion is only a bit more than what McMahon wants, but the company has already shown it can integrate and grow a sports-media business with a divisive founder in the UFC. 

Saudi Arabia is starting to make major investments in media and entertainment, and has already expressed interest in buying Liberty Media Corp.’s Formula One. WWE Chief Executive Officer Nick Khan dismissed a report last month that the Saudis already had a deal to buy the company as “totally false.”

Larger strategic buyers, such as Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co., may be uneasy taking on a business controlled by McMahon that involves the sometimes messy personal lives of its wrestlers. McMahon learned the business from his father, an event promoter on the East Coast. He built the WWE into an international entertainment powerhouse that packs arenas and airs programs regularly on Fox Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s USA network. 

Imagine Bloomberg not including the owner of Rough N Rowdy in the conversation. Cowards.

PS - Speaking of billions of dollars and sports franchises… Alex Bennett from the Mean Girl pod joined Large and I in studio for the latest episode of The Family Office. We chatted about all the important things: if she's wealthier than Dave Portnoy, her startup investments, what she thinks the Family Office portfolio should invest in… and a whole fuck ton more. You can watch it right now…

Or you can listen on Spotify or Apple.