Earlier we reported that Vince McMahon was apparently out as a potential buyer of the XFL. Now that the dust has settled a bit on that subject, we’re starting to learn more from today’s court filings. It seems there are dozens of interested parties in making a move on the XFL.
“the Debtor’s investment banker, Houlihan Lokey, is currently in active discussions with dozens of potential purchasers, and substantially all potential purchasers have indicated that the potential for an XFL season in spring 2021 is important to them.”
More surprisingly, it seems that the folks interested in purchasing the league are looking for a 2021 restart. As of now, all parties are hoping to have the sale finalized by August 1st to hit the ground running and start making hires and restart the league.
“The Debtor has negotiated for an extension of the sale process until the first week of August, for a total process of 115 days”
XFL President, Jeffery Pollack also commented as part of today’s court filing expressing the urgency that if a 2021 season were to take place a deal would need to be completed by August 1st.
“[I]f we are to resume playing in 2021, we would need to be in a go mode ideally by August 1st of this year, and I think there is the chance for us to be in a position to play next year, and so doing would, I think, be good for the business on an ongoing basis.”
The filing continues on to discuss the need to complete the sale soon as to not delay the season until 2022. Again, even when we thought Vince may be purchasing the league I didn’t expect that it would try to return so soon. Whoever these potential buyers are, they are definitely advantageous.
“Their reasons include a desire to generate revenue and to further establish the league in a content-starved environment in spring 2021 and to avoid leaving space out to 2022 that would allow others to act on the opportunity.”
We also learn about the number of people that have been alerted about the XFL sale. In the filings it shows, to date the league has sent out teasers to 235 potential buyers. So far, 20 have signs and NDA and there are six more in the process of obtaining an NDA.
“As of May 25th, 2020, Houlihan Lokey had distributed teasers to 235 potential purchasers. As of that date, 20 potential purchasers had executed NDAs and gained access to a data room containing extensive diligence materials, including a Confidential Information Memorandum that Houlihan Lokey added to the data room on May 21st, 2020. As of May 25th, 2020, six more potential purchasers were in the process of executing NDAs to gain access to the data room. Based on preliminary feedback, there is a robust market for the Debtor’s assets, including a number of potentially interested private equity firms and other strategic and financial sponsors.”
Something that everyone seems to be aware of is the fact that is the XFL is indeed on track for a 2021 return there is a big possibility that fans may not be able to be in attendance. The XFL has thought this though and is proposing a 12 week ‘made-for-tv’ tournament-style approach for that season.
“The Debtor has modeled for 2021 a “made-for-TV,” 12-week tournament-style approach to its business. The XFL is also well positioned to, if necessary, deliver a crowd-free experience that could thrive in the current environment, given the XFL’s existing innovations such as in-game audio from players and coaches and live on-screen sports wagering information.”
As we expected, the ball is clearly moving… In which direction, we just don’t know yet. That being said, if you had hopes that Vince McMahon would retain the XFL, those seem to be out the window for now. Regardless, it seems that we have some folks interested in bringing the XFL dream alive.
What do you think of the proposals for a 2021 XFL season? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.