Vince McMahon Says It Was The Right Time To Sell WWE, Ari Emanuel Wanted Vince To Stay On Board

WWE officially entered into a transaction agreement with Endeavor in a deal that was announced on April 3.

Endeavor will merge WWE and UFC, forming a new company. Vince McMahon will remain the executive chairman while Ari Emanuel will be the CEO.

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Speaking on CNBC Squawk on the Street, Vince and Ari discussed the deal.

"This is the biggest thing Ari Emanuel and Vince McMahon have ever done. Combing forces like this, there's nothing like this, there's never been anything like this. They're going to be talking about this for a long time," said Vince.

When asked about other interest and why WWE went with Endeavor, Vince said, "Sure there were (other suitors), but the synergies. Everyone was very interested in, and I appreciate that, but the synergy that Ari brings, totally different than everyone else."

When asked why he decided to sell now, Vince stated, "It's the right time. It's the right time to do the right thing. It's been the next evolution of WWE. I could probably do what Ari does right now with UFC, it'd take me 10 years. In that time, he'll be 10 years ahead of me. It makes all the sense in the world for all the synergies we have to extract all the value we can out of the marketplace."

WWE was listed as having an enterprise value of $9.3 billion in the press release. McMahon was reportedly looking for $9 billion in the sale.

Ari said Endeavor paid a fair price given the growth opportunities and that everyone thought they overpaid for IMG and UFC, but the value has increased for both brands.

McMahon was reportedly willing to step aside if it meant the sale going through to a suitor, but Ari stated he wanted McMahon to remain on board.

"I would have bodyslammed him if he thought he thought he was going to leave. Here's a man who has seen around the corner at every beat over the last 40 years of this business and has a vision of this business way before a lot of people see it. Him now being able to utilize what we've built in our flywheel, I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I have Vince McMahon, a visionary that sees around the corner, I have Dana White and what we've built. That's pretty unstoppable," said Ari.

When asked how hard Ari had to push to keep him on board, Vince said, "Not that much. I love what I do. I love building WWE. All my life, it's my passion. To have an opportunity to have it grow like this from an exponential standpoint. It can't be better than that."

Vince stated, "Sure, absolutely," when asked if he was willing to step aside for a potential sale.

"I wasn't going to let him," said Ari. "We've had a relationship for 23 years. There's a trust, a friendship. When you're going into business and going forward, that's important. I'm glad he chose us because it was a very competitive situation. For us, it's an honor, and we're so lucky because of his vision of where the business is and where it's going."

Asked what would happen if they disagreed on something, Vince joked that they would settle it in the ring. Ari said if there was a disagreement, it meant they shouldn't do.

On the subjective of creative, Vince was asked if he would be involved with the creative direction of WWE.

"Yes and no. On a higher level, yes. In the weeds, which I always loved to get in the weeds in the past, no. Can't do that," said Vince.

Finally, Vince and Ari were asked what would happen if Mr. McMahon decided he wanted to get back in the ring.

"His choice," said Ari. "Purely his choice."

McMahon stated, "That's not going to happen."

McMahon retired as WWE CEO on July 22, 2022 amid sexual misconduct and hush money allegations. He eventually reached a multi-million dollar settlement. He returned to the board of directors in January to help lead the sales process.

Fans can view the press release regarding the sale by clicking here.

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