WWE's Vince McMahon sells $272M in stock to fund XFL
WWE chairman Vince McMahon sold shares of the wrestling company worth roughly $272 million to help fund the XFL’s relaunch in 2021, the company disclosed in an SEC filing on Friday.
McMahon sold more than 3.2 million shares of WWE’s Class A common stock at a price of $84.87 each. Proceeds from the stock sale will be used to fund initiatives for Alpha Entertainment, a McMahon-led offshoot that serves as XFL’s parent company.
“Mr. McMahon executed the sale primarily to fund a separate entity from [the WWE], Alpha Entertainment, which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including launching a professional football league under the name ‘XFL,’” the filing said. “Alpha has announced that this launch will occur in early 2020.”
McMahon sold roughly 4 percent of WWE’s total outstanding shares of Class A and Class B common stock, according to the filing. He still controls Class B shares representing 80 percent of WWE’s voting power and approximately 37 percent of its total outstanding shares.
|WWE||WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT INC.||84.18||-1.94||-2.25%|
Sports Illustrated was first to report the transaction.
The longtime wrestling executive initially sold shares worth $100 million to finance the XFL when its relaunch was first announced in January 2018. He sold shares worth another $22 million in December 2018.
XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck said the league will feature a fast-paced version of traditional football and a fan-friendly, affordable stadium environment. The league will have eight teams at launch in 2020.
The XFL’s original incarnation debuted in 1999 to much fanfare, only to fold in 2001 amid dwindling interest and financial troubles.
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The new XFL is one of several springtime leagues attempting to establish themselves alongside the NFL. Another league, the AAF, is currently playing its first season, but chairman Tom Dundon warned this week that it could soon fold if it can’t reach a deal to use NFL players on its rosters.