NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors that purchased World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (“WWE”) (NYSE: WWE) Class A common stock between February 7, 2019 and February 5, 2020 (the “Class Period”). Investors have until May 5, 2020 to apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
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WWE is an integrated media and entertainment company primarily known for its scripted professional wrestling shows. In recent years, WWE has entered into important strategic relationships with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including a multi-year television distribution rights agreement with the Orbit Showcase Network (“OSN”), a Saudi-controlled direct broadcast satellite provider, and a 10-year partnership with the Saudi General Sports Authority to host live events in Saudi Arabia.
The problems with WWE’s relationship with the Saudis began to be revealed in a series of partial disclosures.
On April 25, 2019, the Company disclosed disappointing financial results and fiscal guidance, which several analysts connected to potential hiccups in the Company’s dealings with the Saudis.
On October 31, 2019, in connection with the release of the Company’s third quarter 2019 financial results, WWE revealed significant underperformance across key metrics and revealed that the media rights deal had been indefinitely delayed. Around this same time, it was reported that the Saudi government had withheld tens of millions of dollars in payments owed to WWE. The dispute continued to escalate, culminating in a decision by WWE to cut a broadcasting feed of a live event held in the country. In retaliation, the Saudi government temporarily refused to allow several WWE wrestlers to leave the country in what was later described as akin to a “hostage situation” under the pretense of mechanical airplane issues.
Then, on January 30, 2020, WWE revealed that two of its longest serving senior executives – defendants George A. Barrios and Michelle D. Wilson – had been ousted. Shortly thereafter, on February 6, 2020, WWE again disclosed disappointing financial performance due to its failure to secure a favorable broadcasting deal with the Saudis and revealed that the Saudi media rights deal would not be included in the Company’s financial forecasting.
As a result of these disclosures, the price of WWE Class A common stock plummeted from a Class Period high of more than $100 per share to as low as $40.24 per share on February 6, 2020, representing a 60% share price decline.
The complaint, filed on March 6, 2020, alleges that during the Class Period defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding WWE’s business and operations. Specifically, defendants failed to disclose that WWE was experiencing rising tension with the Saudi government and a breakdown in negotiations over a renewed broadcasting distribution deal; that the Saudi government and its affiliates had failed to make millions of dollars in payments owed to WWE pursuant to existing contractual commitments between the parties; that OSN had terminated the broadcast of WWE programming in the first quarter of 2019, despite a contractual obligation to continue such broadcasts, and that this cancellation was symptomatic of a deterioration in the business relationship between the parties; that OSN had rebuffed efforts to renew a distribution rights agreement on terms acceptable to WWE; and that WWE did not have the ability to expand its operations in the Middle East or within Saudi Arabia as had been represented to investors.
If you purchased WWE Class A common stock during the Class Period, are a long-term stockholder, have information, would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Melissa Fortunato or Marion Passmore by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone at (212) 355-4648, or by filling out this contact form. There is no cost or obligation to you.
About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York and California. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.