Monday, October 2, 2023

(Reuters) – World Wrestling Entertainment said on Wednesday U.S. federal law enforcement agents executed a search warrant and served a subpoena to Executive Chairman Vince McMahon last month, though no charges were brought against him.

WWE, which reported its second-quarter results on Wednesday, said McMahon has been on a medical leave since July 11 after a major spinal surgery.

Former CEO and Chairman McMahon returned to the company’s board in January to help forge a deal with Endeavor Group-owned mixed martial arts franchise UFC to form a new, publicly listed entertainment giant valued at about $21 billion.

He had retired in July last year amid allegations of misconduct and paid $17.4 million to the company to cover costs related to an investigation into the case.

He was investigated by WWE’s board for agreements to pay $12 million over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity, the Wall Street Journal reported in June last year.

McMahon is credited with transforming WWE from a regional player in a highly fragmented industry of the 1980s to a global giant.

WWE’s second quarter revenue rose 25% to $410.3 million from a year earlier, above estimates of $398.9 million, according to Refinitiv data. Its profit of 91 cents per share was also in-line with estimates.

Shares of the company were up nearly 2% in premarket trading, after having risen roughly 52% this year.

Revenue from WWE’s Live Events segment jumped 51%, thanks to strong demand for its domestic and international events such as WrestleMania, Backlash and Night of Champions.

(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Shinjini Ganguli)


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