WWE founder and billionaire Vince McMahon is selling 8.4 million shares of TKO stock, according to a company statement, which said $100 million worth of the shares will be repurchased by TKO.
The shares, worth about $700 million, represent nearly a quarter of McMahon’s holdings in TKO — where he serves as executive chairman.
The sale of the chunk of shares may indicate McMahon’s intentions to exit his family business, according to CNBC, after taking over WWE from his father decades ago.
TKO CEO Ari Emanuel and president and COO Mark Shapiro are expected to purchase about $1 million of McMahon’s shares each, with other directors planning to buy $850,000 worth of shares, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
TKO’s stock slid more than 5% in after-hours trading after closing up at $84.90 earlier in the day.
Forbes estimates McMahon’s net worth at $2.8 billion, a fortune built throughout his time as the WWE’s owner and TKO’s executive chairman
Executives informed analysts this week that profits are expected to be returned to shareholders as new rights deals are signed, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
McMahon briefly retired from the WWE last year before returning in January through a controlling stake, appointing himself and two others to the company board, according to the Hollywood Reporter, later putting the company up for sale. Not long after, the WWE merged with the UFC in September in a $21.4 billion deal, creating TKO. Endeavor Group Holdings owns 51% of TKO while remaining shares are owned by WWE shareholders, CNBC reported. McMahon, 78, became TKO’s executive chairman following the merger, which became official about 41 years after he bought the WWE from his father. Outside of his business endeavors, McMahon also settled a lawsuit late last year from a former World Wrestling Federation referee who alleged he raped her in 1986, according to the Wall Street Journal. The former referee, Rita Chatterton, sought nearly $12 million in damages from McMahon.
Vince McMahon to Sell $700M in TKO Stock, Ari Emanuel and Endeavor Expected to Be Buyers (THR)
The $2.7 Billion Time Bomb Inside The Newly Merged UFC And WWE (Forbes)
CORRECTION (11/9): This story has been updated to note TKO intends to repurchase $100 million of McMahon’s shares.