Would Vince McMahon Ever Sell WWE?
FoxSports – Mondays are usually busy for Vince McMahon and his family. Most of them are spent shaping the script of WWE’s Monday Night Raw. Before the program this week, the chairman of the board took care of a financial matter.
On May 16, 2016, the Vincent K. McMahon 2013 Irrev. Trust U/A dtd. December 5, 2013 (the “GRAT”) sold 2,191,894 shares of Class A common stock of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) in a block trade made in accordance with the provisions of Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The GRAT was established by Vincent K. McMahon (“Mr. McMahon”), the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for estate planning purposes for the benefit of Mr. McMahon and certain members of Mr. McMahon’s family. The GRAT sale was executed for liquidity and asset diversification. After the sale, the GRAT continues to own 1,547,372shares of the Company’s Class B common stock. The GRAT may, at any time, subject to compliance with applicable securities laws, dispose of some or all of its remaining shares of the Company’s common stock depending on various factors, including, but not limited to, the price of the shares of the Company’s Class A common stock, the terms and conditions of the transaction and prevailing market conditions, as well as liquidity, family planning and diversification objectives. Other than possible additional sales by the GRAT, Mr. McMahon informed the Company that he has no current plans to sell any shares of the Company’s stock and that he intends to continue in his capacity as the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the foreseeable future.
The 2,191,894 shares sold by the GRAT represent approximately 6% of the Company’s outstanding shares of Class A common stock. After the sale, Mr. McMahon beneficially owns 37,080,747 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock, which represents approximately 86% of the Company’s total voting power and approximately48.8% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of common stock.
So Vince McMahon sold nearly two million shares of WWE stock as part of his estate planning yesterday, not a big deal for a man in his 70s looking to take care of his family in the long term. It did get me thinking though, what if Vince McMahon ever decided to sell WWE? With all the recent talk of a potential UFC sale for four billion dollars, what exactly would WWE be worth? It’s certainly an interesting concept. There is nothing to indicate this is actually even a possibility, just pure fantasy thinking on my part. Would fans be happy about this? They seem to bitch constantly about how out of touch the McMahon family is with their audience. What if they just decided to say the hell with it and cashed out their chips. I don’t think we’ll ever find out. I can’t imagine them selling a hugely profitable family business that has been around for generations. The scary/sad part of this story is the realization that Vince McMahon is not an immortal and is planning for his family’s life after he’s gone.