Wrestling: Vince McMahon back at the helm of WWE
The former emblematic figure of the American professional league of wrestling WWE, Vince McMahon, forced to leave last year following accusations of sexual harassment, took over the controls of the company.
The septuagenarian says he wants to participate in negotiations on the new television broadcasting contract, but also to lead the search for a potential buyer.
In a document published Friday by the Financial Markets Regulatory Authority, the SEC, Vince McMahon indicated that his position as reference shareholder allowed him to become executive chairman of the board of directors.
If he only owns 39.9% of the capital of WWE, he controls, on the other hand, more than 81% of the voting rights.
Wall Street welcomed this announcement, the title took 18.45% to 85.33 dollars.
For Vince McMahon, the league has a “narrow window to create value for its shareholders” thanks to the new television contract or a takeover, “in the current media context”, marked in particular by the rise in power of the platforms of streaming worldwide sports broadcast rights.
The contract for the United States which links WWE to the Fox and USA Network channels and expires at the end of 2023 currently earns him $ 470 million a year.
The insatiable promoter overruled the opinion of the board of directors, who had said they were opposed to his return. Thursday, he obtained the resignation of two directors and appointed two relatives to replace them.
He assured that his return would have “no impact” on the role and functions of the two managing directors, Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon, his daughter, who until now was also chairman of the board.
Last July, Vince McMahon was initially pushed by revelations of allegations of sexual harassment within WWE.
A Wall Street Journal investigation showed that the leader had paid a total of $ 14.6 million to several women to obtain their silence.
After buying what was then the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from his father in 1982, Vince McMahon turned a fringe league into a global phenomenon and leaned on a few stars like Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or John Cena.
Became the World wrestling entertainment (WWE) in 2002, the league crossed, last year, the billion dollars of annual turnover.
Its events fill major venues dozens of times a year in the United States but also abroad.
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