WWE Retains Outside Advisors As Sale Speculation Swirls

On Thursday evening, the latest wrinkle in the potential WWE sale talks was revealed in a company press release titled "WWE Engages Outside Advisors to Support Review of Strategic Alternatives." There, WWE announced that it has retained the services of The Raine Group, LLC as a financial advisor, Kirkland & Ellis LLP as a legal advisor, and August LLC as a strategic communications advisor. WWE says they will support the company's management and Board of Directors "in connection with a review of strategic alternatives to maximize value for all WWE stockholders and other stakeholders."


"WWE's upcoming media rights cycle will take place amid a rapidly evolving media and entertainment landscape, and we believe exploring our strategic alternatives at this critical juncture will enable WWE to fully capitalize on the significant value of our intellectual property," the release quoted WWE Founder and Executive Chairman Vince McMahon as saying. "I am highly confident that our outstanding Directors, outside advisors and executive team will provide valuable expertise and counsel to help guide the Company through this important process while our management team and employee base continue to deliver results and content our fans love."

Both Kirkland and August were involved in the press release that McMahon put out on his own announcing his intentions to return to WWE. Perhaps more noteworthy is the inclusion of The Raine Group. Not only was Raine involved with the sale of the English Premier League's Chelsea FC, where the Saudi government was in the mix as a potential bidder, but it was part of numerous meetings that the Saudi General Sports Authority had with American companies, including WWE, in 2018. How Raine's involvement reflects on this past weekend's report that JPMorgan would be the financial advisor for WWE sale talks is not clear.