WWE investors who felt misled by WWE's dealings with Saudi Arabia win settlement approval.
In March of 2020, the City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System brought a class action lawsuit against WWE under the belief that WWE had misled investors about their dealings with Saudi Arabia.
The lawsuit stems from the 10-year agreement WWE made with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to bring two shows per year to the Kingdom. The suit also spoke of rising tension between both WWE and the Saudi government. Most notably, how the Saudi government failed to make millions of dollars in payments owed to WWE as part of existing contractual obligations.
Per Bloomberg Law, WWE has received approval to settle the case for $39 million:
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and investors who say it misled them about problems with its business ties to Saudi Arabia secured final approval for their $39 million settlement in federal court in New York.
The cash deal represents about 18.2% of estimated classwide damages, the investors told the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York when they sought preliminary approval last year. Judge Jed S. Rakoff gave his final sign off to the settlement in an order docketed Thursday.
The professional wrestling group’s investors in 2020 accused WWE of misleading them about the status of media rights deals in Saudi Arabia. Rakoff rejected WWE’s bid to dismiss the suit later that year and preliminarily approved the settlement in March.
The settlement class consists of everyone who acquired WWE common stock from Feb. 7, 2019, through Feb. 5, 2020, and lost money as a result, with exceptions for those with other close ties to the company, Rakoff’s order said. There weren’t any objections to the settlement.
Lead counsel Labaton Sucharow LLP will get $7.02 million—18% of the settlement fund—in attorneys’ fees, Rakoff said in a separate order docketed Thursday. The firm will also get more than $468,000 as reimbursement for litigation expenses.
WWE recently made another $39 million settlement regarding Saudi Arabia lawsuits. Learn more here.