According to a report on DAZN, WWE has sold its wrestling franchise synonymous with the sport to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
If reports are to be believed, this would mark the franchise’s return to private ownership since October 1999, when the company went public.
The report was released after veteran CEO Vince McMahon returned to lead the franchise after a hiatus when he was unanimously elected CEO of the board.
Also read | Stephanie McMahon Steps Down As Co-CEO Of WWE, Vince McMahon Elected CEO
McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie, who ran the world-famous company during her father’s absence, quit to make way for McMahon.
Earlier, it was reported that the franchise was looking for strategic alternatives to maximize value for all stakeholders involved.
Then financial services firm JP Morgan got involved in the potential sale, with big names like Amazon, Netflix and Disney named as potential buyers.
But recent reports indicate that the Saudi Public Fund has stepped in to make up for the slack. However, WWE has not released an official statement regarding the sale of the company to the Middle East entity.
This step fits with the bill of the Saudi project, which is trying to soften its conservative image around the world by investing in sports entities to get rid of its harsh image.
They pulled off a major coup by being able to acquire one of the greatest sporting figures of the modern generation in Cristiano Ronaldo when Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr club signed the Portuguese superstar in a deal that would net him around €200m a year for the five. Time winner at the Balon D’Or.
Ronaldo’s strike was not the first of its kind as the Middle Eastern country has already invested in Premier League club Newcastle United, who are taking leaps and bounds by beating above their weight in the competition, the most competitive domestic league in the world.
Saudi Arabia also got involved in golf as the breakaway LIV Gold Tour caused a stir among the sporting and public fraternity by attracting top talent from the long-standing PGS Tour roster.
Read all the latest sports news here