According to a report by DAZN reporter Steven Muehlhausen, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) has been sold to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and will become a private company.
It is unclear whether founder Vince McMahon, who recently returned as executive chairman, will continue in this role or not. The report comes just hours after the announcement of CEO Stephanie McMahon’s resignation, who stepped in following her father’s departure earlier this year.
WWE CEO Nick Khan will now be the sole CEO. Critics of the reported sale have raised concerns about Saudi Arabia’s treatment of the LGBT community, a group with which many WWE wrestlers identify, as well as what the changes will mean for the company’s product.
Saudi Arabia has a history with WWE, having held Crown Jewel, WWE Live, and Greatest Royal Rumble events in recent years, and has a 10-year agreement to hold two live events per year in the kingdom.
The PIF, which controls approximately $620 billion in assets, has been increasing its reach into the world of sports in recent years, becoming the majority owner of English soccer club Newcastle United and investing at least $2 billion in LIV Golf’s global challenge to the PGA Tour.