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TNA’s future still up in the air

A sale of TNA to Billy Corgan has not yet been completed.

The Smashing Pumpkins In Concert - New York, New York
Billy Corgan: still not the owner of TNA!
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

Despite Billy Corgan being named as TNA’s new President last month, the company’s future remains up in the air, as although Corgan is obviously the favorite to buy TNA from current majority shareholder Dixie Carter, no deal has yet been completed.

Corgan is the favorite because he’s already got a minority stake in the company due to funding recent television tapings and controlling TNA’s day-to-day operations by virtue of his new role as President.

Ten days ago, he confirmed his interest in buying TNA via social media, which was reiterated in a story by the New York Post last Friday, where he told the newspaper that he hoped a deal could be completed in time for it to be announced at TNA’s next pay-per-view event, Bound For Glory, on October 2nd:

"I would love nothing better than to stand up in front of everyone and give a clear picture of where this company is and where it’s going."

Corgan, in the piece, gave what may be a misleading impression that there is a bidding war currently ongoing for TNA when he claimed that there was still “a lot of people at the table.The Post went on to add that:

"WWE and Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of the Ring of Honor wrestling organization, are rumored to have made recent bids."

According to Dave Meltzer on his latest Wrestling Observer Radio show, none of his sources "who are very close to the situation" had heard of recent discussions with either WWE or Sinclair, which would suggest that they are not actually at the table currently. Although both sides may be interested in purchasing the company in a fire sale (WWE for TNA’s tape library, ROH for its overseas television agreements), it’s unlikely that they’d be willing to meet Dixie Carter’s current asking price.

Corgan indicated to The Post that a sale price had already been agreed upon, and although he couldn’t possibly reveal the exact figure, he led author Richard Morgan to believe it was in the range of $40 million! Yes, the same person who is fond of recalling how he turned down an offer of a 10% share in ECW for $1 million, because he "can do math" now apparently thinks that a fair valuation of TNA is four times as much as the one he found so ridiculous for ECW.

In reality, rather than the land of media spin, Meltzer is reporting that Dixie Carter is willing to sell her stake in TNA (believed to be around 70% after selling minority stakes to Aroluxe Media, Corgan and Canada’s Fight Network) for $4-6 million, much lower than the price teased in The Post’s article.

So if a price has already been agreed upon, what’s the hold-up? According to Meltzer, Corgan isn’t looking to buy TNA solely with his own finances and is attempting to raise money to complete the deal. This makes perfect sense, as although Corgan is a very wealthy man, it would take a sizable chunk of his fortune to complete the purchase himself and bankroll the promotion.

A sale needs to take place fairly soon, as TNA doesn’t have enough money to fund their next set of television tapings in early October, which costs in the region of $600,000-$800,000, or future tapings after that.

Although it seems like a formality that a celebrity like Corgan could raise the capital required to buy TNA, there is a faint whiff of the dying days of WCW where a sale to Eric Bischoff and Fusient Media Ventures fell through at the last minute. That doesn’t seem the most likely scenario at the present moment, but is obviously a possibility, if, as reports suggest, Corgan hasn’t yet raised the money to buy TNA.

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