WWE Settles Lawsuit Regarding Saudi Arabia Deal For $39 Million

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Photo Credit: WWE, WWE Logo

A lawsuit filed by the City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System will not be going forward. The lawsuit took issue with WWE’s dealings in Saudi Arabia including executives selling stock at what it claimed was inflated prices and WWE failing to disclose that it had failed in closing a television deal in the middle east.

WWE announced today that a $39 million settlement has been reached that will pay all of the plaintiff’s attorney fees and expenses. As to why the WWE settled, it says “[The company] believes that resolving the matter is the right business decision and that it is prudent to end the protracted and uncertain class action process.”

Here’s the SEC filing with additional information:

On November 18, 2020, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) entered into a term sheet (the “Term Sheet”) to settle the previously disclosed action titled City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., Vincent K. McMahon, George A. Barrios, and Michelle D. Wilson, No. 1:20-cv-02031-JSR, currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”). Plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleged securities law violations by the Company, its current Chief Executive Officer and its former Co-Presidents, related to certain disclosures concerning the Company’s business relationship in and with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Term Sheet was reached in connection with a voluntary mediation which involved the Plaintiffs and their counsel, the Company and its counsel, and the Company’s insurance carriers.  Aside from the Term Sheet, there will be other standard and customary terms of class action settlements in the stipulation of settlement.  The settlement is subject to notice to the class and preliminary and final approval by the Court.
The settlement will include a full release of all Defendants in connection with the allegations made in the lawsuit, and will not contain any admission of liability or admission as to the validity or truth of any or all allegations or claims by any of the Defendants.
The Term Sheet provides for a settlement payment, subject to Court approval, of $39 million (inclusive of all Plaintiffs’ attorneys fees and expenses and settlement costs), all of which the Company expects will be paid by the Company’s insurance carriers.