Nick Khan addresses whether Vince McMahon would be willing to step away from WWE.
McMahon previously retired in July 2022 amid a WWE board investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money. Following his departure, Khan and Stephanie McMahon were named as the Co-CEOs, and Triple H took over as the head of creative. His role was later retitled the Chief Content Officer. McMahon returned to the WWE Board of Directors on January 6; the day before, he announced his intent to come back in order to participate in media rights deals and the exploration of a potential sale. Shortly after McMahon's return, WWE reportedly hired JPMorgan to advise on a potential sale.
During the fourth quarter 2022 earnings call, Khan was asked whether he could definitely say that McMahon would end his involvement with the company following a potential sale or transaction if doing so was in the shareholders' best interest. Khan responded by making it clear that McMahon has made it clear that he would do that. He emphasized that the main objective is to maximize the value of any potential transaction.
"Yes. Without question. He's declared it to the board. He's declared it to us in management. It's all about shareholder value. Obviously, he is a shareholder. So it's not about what role he'll have. It's about maximizing that value opportunity," Khan said.
Khan was also asked to describe what WWE would look for in a partner. He stated that they are looking for someone who understands the media business. Khan also noted that they would want a partner who understands the WWE product and what the company is doing with it. He repeated the emphasis on finding the best value for the shareholders.
"A partner that has more than simply deep pockets. So a partner that understands the media business, that's in the media business, that understands how to further monetize the media business. [Also, a partner] that certainly understands our product, our intellectual property, what we're doing with it, what can be done with it. Media rights, both domestically and internationally. We see the international growth opportunity is huge. So these are folks, in terms of choosing the right partner, these are all things that we're going to be looking at in terms of who can accelerate our business. Again, what's the best value for our shareholders?" he said.
Khan later stated that any potential business partners would have to honor pre-existing media rights agreements for NBC and FOX.
During the call, Triple H commented on McMahon's return. Check out his comments here.
In a previous interview, Khan stated that a WWE sale should not be a lengthy process. Click here to see what he had to say.
WWE has engaged outside advisors to support the review of strategic alternatives. More information is available here.
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