The XFL is coming in 2020 and if the AAF and their recent investment is any indication, it takes a lot of money to fund a professional football league. WWE CEO and majority shareholder Vince McMahon is relaunching his beleaguered league that had its one and only season in 2001. McMahon is raising capital for his league and parent company Alpha Entertainment.
According to an SEC filing on Wednesday, McMahon sold over three million shares of WWE stock with the purpose to invest that money into Alpha Entertainment and the XFL. This is the third time McMahon sold WWE stock in order to fund his new league but said after this third time that “he has no current plan to sell additional shares” of WWE stock. McMahon will remain CEO as well as his position as majority shareholder which should keep other shareholders from potentially panicking and selling their own stock and risk plummeting the share price.
“On March 27, 2019, Vincent K. McMahon (“Mr. McMahon”), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”), sold 3,204,427 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock in a block trade made in accordance with the provisions of Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Mr. McMahon executed the sale primarily to fund a separate entity from the Company, Alpha Entertainment LLC “Alpha”), which Mr. McMahon established to explore investment opportunities across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including launching a professional football league under the name “XFL”. Alpha has announced that this launch will occur in early 2020. Mr. McMahon has informed the Company that he has no current plan to sell additional 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 shares sold by Mr. McMahon represent approximately 4.1% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of Class A and Class B common stock. After the sale, Mr. McMahon beneficially owns 28,682,948 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock, which represents approximately 80.1% of the Company’s total voting power and approximately 36.8% of the Company’s total outstanding shares of common stock.”
Closing at $84.87 per share Wednesday, McMahon raised $271,959,719 by selling about 10 percent of his stock. McMahon privately said he would invest over $500 million into the XFL within the first three seasons and along with this sale plus the two other times he sold stock, around $100 million worth in December 2017 and around $23 million worth in December 2018, McMahon has raised nearly $395 million just in selling WWE stock for his football league.
With WrestleMania 35 coming up in a week and a half, it would make sense for McMahon to sell some stock at this time. One of the most prestigious and highest grossing events of the year, WWE’s stock price should be on an even higher upswing than usual. Thanks to massive TV deals from NBCUniversal and specifically Fox for Raw and SmackDown respectively and the incredibly controversial (but profitable) Saudi Arabia shows, WWE stock has gone up from nearly $30 per share when McMahon first sold his stock in 2017 to the nearly $85 per share figure today.