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Vince McMahon is back at the helm of WWE after successfully making it onto its board last January. Reinstalled as executive chairman, McMahon will oversee the sale of the company and negotiate new media rights deals going forward.
Rumors have swirled that the 77-year-old will sell his company and take it private again. Comcast, Disney, Netflix, UFC owner Endeavor Group Holdings and Formula One owner Liberty Media are all said to be potential buyers.
McMahon has built World Wrestling Entertainment into the world's largest professional wrestling promotion. Additionally, he has established himself as the undisputed king of this industry, controlling its content and dominating major event sales.
McMahon is the company's most powerful figure and board chairman, holding access to its most valuable assets - talent and intellectual property. As such, he holds an influential position within WWE.
He is the sole agent responsible for negotiating the media rights deals that make WWE so lucrative for advertisers and viewers. Furthermore, he holds significant voting control over the company, preventing outsiders from buying up all of its shares.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal revealed that McMahon had spent millions of dollars to suppress sexual misconduct and infidelity allegations over 16 years. As a result, McMahon was ultimately forced to retire as WWE's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman in July.
WWE has recently undergone a significant rethinking of their business model and corporate structure, including bringing in a new president and COO. This shift aims to enhance their financial performance as well as cultivate an entirely new generation of superstars.
However, the change will also bring with it some uncertainty. The company must begin negotiations for its media rights, which expire in 2023, as well as explore options for selling the business - a process which could take years and cost billions of dollars.
It remains uncertain whether the board of WWE will consider selling it to another entertainment company. Front Office Sports reports Comcast's NBCUniversal as one of several companies interested in purchasing WWE.
McMahon could potentially strike a deal with an existing company that already owns the business, giving him voting control. For example, Shad Khan of All Elite Wrestling is reported to be considering taking over the WWE.
McMahon recently expressed his desire to return to WWE in an open letter addressed to the board, however he will only support media-rights deals or sales if he has direct input into decision-making processes. Even when someone else has more financial resources than current company does, McMahon believes it would be wrong for someone else to run it without his input.
In what could be the biggest wrestling news story ever, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has announced that he is selling the company.
This news follows the company's announcement that it would enlist external advisors to review strategic options. Additionally, JPMorgan was reported to have been retained for advice regarding a sale.
WWE could potentially be worth billions of dollars and could sell this year if there are several potential buyers.
Comcast is likely the most likely candidate as it already owns the rights to show Raw and NXT in America. Comcast could benefit from this move as it would help boost its streaming ambitions (possibly with ESPN+) and support its linear network business.
Disney is another potential suitor. In its $71 billion deal with Fox, they acquired all of Fox's sports and live events assets - making it a natural fit for WWE. This would boost Disney's sports content, support ESPN+'s launch later this year and add some momentum to merchandizing and theme park businesses alike.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund could also be an option. This fund has been paying the WWE approximately $100 million annually for two events, so it could make sense.
Other potential buyers include Tony Khan and his father Shahid, owners of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and English Premier League side Fulham FC. While they could potentially merge with WWE, they need a partner who would pay the McMahon family's asking price of $6.5 billion to acquire it.
Companies interested in investing in WWE all have different reasons to do so. Some are longer shots than others, while other potential contenders might be too far-fetched for serious consideration.
In the end, it seems likely that WWE will be sold to someone with enough cash flow to cover McMahon family demands. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio ran down who could buy WWE first; he mentioned names such as Comcast, Disney and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.
Saudi Arabia and the United States often disagree on Middle East policy. Topics such as Israel, the 1973 oil crisis, U.S.-led invasions of Iraq, and aspects of the "War on Terror" have been contentious between them for years.
After the October 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, relations between the two countries have become strained. The United States has imposed sanctions on some Saudi nationals and Congress has unsuccessfully tried to cease U.S. weapons sales to Saudi over Yemen; both sides have been criticized for their involvement in the conflict.
Despite their differences, both governments have worked to strengthen ties and assure Americans they are on the same team. President Trump himself has visited the region multiple times to foster economic collaboration and spur job growth in the United States.
But the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has never been so tumultuous as it has been over the past half-year. While President Obama sought to rebuild a relationship with a leader whom he once declared as an outlaw, efforts by his country's leadership have met with fierce resistance.
Therefore, it remains uncertain whether the United States will maintain a close partnership with Saudi Arabia going forward. Instead, Washington could opt to become less involved in areas of shared interest like energy or regional security.
It remains uncertain whether the United States will cut back its military and economic ties to Saudi Arabia, which have been heavily criticised in Congress. No matter which decisions are made, there can be no doubt that President Trump will face public backlash for how he handled this situation so far.
As the region repositions itself in the face of new perceived threats, a major yet secretive alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel appears to be taking shape. Dubbed 'the deal of the century', this bold move could usher Saudi Arabia into undisputed leadership of the Middle East. It offers hope for those suffering from political stagnation or instability in this long-struggling region.
JPMorgan has made a series of small- and medium-sized acquisitions this year that demonstrate its desire to transform from an institution offering standard banking services into one more relevant to consumers, according to analysts. Furthermore, the bank is investing in startups using algorithms, data and apps like home improvement lender GreenSky and UK digital wealth manager Nutmeg - two recently acquired entities.
According to Odeon Capital Group analyst Richard Bove, the company is actively buying payments fintechs in Europe and Brazil. Recent purchases include a 75% stake in Volkswagen Payments SA - the largest transaction this year - as well as a 40% stake in Brazil's C6 Bank, the country's leading online lender.
This year has been a successful one for the bank, which has invested or acquired in approximately 30 companies. However, its average deal size has decreased more than any time during the past decade, according to Dealogic data and media reports.
Analysts anticipate JPMorgan's most significant acquisition will be its $1.3 billion purchase of Renovite, a California payments technology startup. Renovite provides cloud-based switching between different providers that routes payments accordingly. Analysts speculate this deal, which will be their largest yet, could help the bank keep rivals such as Stripe and Block at bay.
Chief Executive Jamie Dimon's apparent confidence in their bank's technology strategy, which has grown as they invest billions into it, is evident by Renovite's software being utilized to expedite service rollout, Blandina revealed.
Furthermore, the bank has been utilizing artificial intelligence to expand product offerings and boost customer engagement. A team of engineers in India are working on machine learning solutions that make it simpler for customers to comprehend how credit cards operate; additionally, an AI-powered chatbot will answer queries about mortgages and other banking products.
It's worth noting that this year has been particularly prosperous for the bank, with profits exceeding expectations and Dimon making his mark on Wall Street with his frugal approach. To cut costs and boost efficiency, the bank has reduced its workforce in half.