Saudi Arabia’s PIF is ’emerging as a possible bidder for WWE if it puts itself up for sale’


Move over LIV Golf! Saudi Arabia’s PIF is ’emerging as a possible bidder for WWE if it puts itself up for sale’ as the fund looks to expand its ‘sports washing’ after backing golf’s rebel breakaway

The latest sporting endeavor for the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia could lie in the form of professional wrestling.

If the WWE plans to put itself up for sale the PIF could be a possible bidder, according to reports from Front Office Sports.

Of the $620billion in assets the PIF controls, some of the most visible purchases it has made in the last few years have been sports properties.

In 2021, the Saudis became the majority owner of Premier League club Newcastle United. In 2022, they bankrolled LIV Golf’s attempt to dethrone the PGA Tour as the premier golf competition in the world.

After years of partnership, Saudi Arabia could look to buy the WWE outright if it’s up for sale

Now, their attention could turn toward wrestling. Saudi Arabia and the WWE have strengthened their relationship in the past decade.

In 2018, the WWE hosted the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’ at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah – which marked the first WWE event held in Saudi Arabia.

WWE would later commit to putting on a series of events known as ‘WWE Crown Jewel’ that will take place as part of a ten-year deal.

These agreements have all been touted as part of ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ – a framework to help diversify the kingdom’s economy and strengthen certain sectors under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia has previously hosted multiple WWE promotions - including 'Crown Jewel'

Saudi Arabia has previously hosted multiple WWE promotions – including ‘Crown Jewel’

This report comes after the Stamford, Connecticut based company announced that former executive Vince McMahon would be returning to the board after an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity. 

Vince McMahon is married to Linda McMahon – a two-time failed Republican candidate for Connecticut’s seats on the United States Senate and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration under former president Donald Trump.

Vince had retired from the WWE board in July – with reports later revealing he paid more than $12m to suppress any allegations.

Rumors that a sale could be imminent may have gathered more steam after a letter from McMahon was published today.

‘I believe WWE has a unique opportunity during this critical juncture to maximize value for its shareholders and all other stakeholders,’ McMahon wrote.

 ‘Specifically, given the rapidly evolving media landscape in which more and more companies are seeking to own the intellectual property offered on their streaming platforms – I firmly believe that the best thing to do for all of WWE´s shareholders and other stakeholders is to undertake a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives.’

It was announced earlier today that Vince McMahon would be returning to the company

It was announced earlier today that Vince McMahon would be returning to the company

A letter from McMahon says the Stamford, CT-based company could look for a new buyer

A letter from McMahon says the Stamford, CT-based company could look for a new buyer

If the sale is floated, FOS expects other potential suitors to challenge the Saudis for the company – which brought in $1.095bn in revenue back in 2021.

FOS floated Amazon, Comcast, Fox Corporation, Liberty Media, Endeavor, and CAA as possible bidders.

PIF’s involvement in this will raise more allegations of ‘sports washing’ to cover up its history of human rights abuses and its mistreatment of women.

McMahon bought the WWE – previously known as the World Wrestling Federation or WWF – from his father back in 1982.

Other potential bidders for the wrestling promoter could include Amazon, Comcast, and Fox

Other potential bidders for the wrestling promoter could include Amazon, Comcast, and Fox

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