World Wrestling gains as CEO see quick sales process, McMahon open to leaving the ring
World Wrestling Entertainment WWE rose 5% at least party after the CEO said the company's sales process may last about three months and founder Vince McMahon is open to exiting.
"I think it's going to be a pretty fast process," World Wresting WWE CEO Nick Khan said in an interview with CNBC earlier Friday.
Khan appeared to downplay some market speculation that WWE founder and Chairman McMahon is opposed to a sale of the iconic wrestling company.
"Vince has declared to the board, to me, to other upper management he is 100% open to a transaction where he is not included in the company moving forward," Khan explained. "I really believe he is looking for the best value for the shareholders."
Earlier this month World Wrestling Entertainment said it brought it in outside advisers to help it pursue strategic alternatives, a process that could lead to selling a stake or the whole company.
Shares of WWE have climbed 24% in the past month after the company disclosed that it was evaluating strategic alternatives. Comcast (COMCSA), Fox FOX, Walt Disney DIS, Amazon AMZN and even Netflix NFLX could be potential bidders for the company, MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler wrote last month. He saw Comcast as the most logical acquirer.
Khan said he's still bullish on a potential Comcast deal after CNBC's David Faber said in the same interview that a Comcast transaction may be unlikely, though a deal with Endeavor EDR in a reverse more trust format may be a possibility, according to Faber.
"Look, we are still bullish on Comcast being possible," Khan said. "Obviously there's only so much I can say about it at this moment, but we've certainly got a warm reception in the marketplace from people who seem interested."
World Wresting WWE short interest is 21%.
World Wrestling WWE reported Q4 results on Thursday.