WWE’s Vince McMahon Protests Innocence After Federal Raid Revealed

Agents executed a search warrant and served the executive chairman with a subpoena in July, the company disclosed alongside its quarterly earnings results

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WWE executive chairman Vince McMahon has expressed confidence that a new federal investigation into misconduct allegations against him will be “resolved without any findings of wrongdoing.”

On July 17, federal law enforcement executed a search warrant and served a federal grand jury subpoena on McMahon to investigate the allegations, the company revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday.

WWE said in the filing that it received “voluntary and compulsory legal demands for documents, including from federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies, concerning the investigation and related subject matters.”

According to the filing, no charges have been brought in the federal government’s investigations. McMahon is currently out on a medical leave of absence “until further notice” following a major spinal surgery, the filing adds.

“Throughout this experience, I have always denied any intentional wrongdoing and continue to do so,” McMahon said. “I am focused on completing the recovery process from my recent spinal surgery and on closing our transaction with Endeavor, which will create one of the preeminent global sports and entertainment brands.”

In a separate statement, WWE said that it has “cooperated throughout and fully understands and respects the government’s need for a complete process.”

The new investigation comes after WWE formed a special committee of independent members of its board of directors last year to conduct a review of the allegations, which concluded in November.

As part of that misconduct probe, McMahon initially resigned from his position as CEO and officially retired a month later, but remained a stockholder with a controlling interest. His daughter Stephanie was named interim CEO alongside Nick Khan. But in January, McMahon returned to WWE as executive chairman and Nick Khan became sole CEO following Stephanie McMahon’s resignation.

Following his return, McMahon said the company would explore strategic options. WWE has since entered into an agreement with Endeavor Group Holdings to form a $21.4 billion entertainment giant.

The deal, which values UFC at $12.1 billion and WWE at $9.3 billion, is expected to close in the second half of 2023. Upon close, Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new company, TKO Group Holdings, and existing WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest.

WWE said in its quarterly earnings release on Wednesday that it incurred $7.1 million in expenses this year related to costs in connection with or arising from the investigation, revisions to the company’s financial statements and other related matters for the six-month period ending June 30.

It also incurred $24.5 million in expenses over the same period related to the strategic alternatives review and agreement with Endeavor.

McMahon has “agreed to review in good faith and reimburse the Company for all reasonable costs” related to the misconduct investigation, WWE said in a statement. To date, McMahon has reimbursed WWE $17.4 million to cover costs related to the investigation.

WWE shares closed at $105.77 per share at the end of Wednesday’s trading session and are up 54% year to date.