Yesterday, we brought word of some of the parties out of the running in the snail race to invest in TNA.
To summarise, several of her international broadcast partners, including Sony Six in India, Challenge TV in the U.K. and Canada's The Fight Network, were all offered the opportunity of purchasing a 10% stake in TNA, which would have allowed Dixie Carter to keep a majority share in the company, whilst guaranteeing the future of TNA programming on these stations. Unsurprisingly, they all turned Carter down. Being British, I found it particularly hilarious that Carter thought that a television station that primarily runs replays of old game shows would have the programming budget to help bankroll a money bleeding wrestling promotion!
Toby Keith, who had shown interest in buying TNA in late 2013, apparently now has no interest in getting into the wrestling business, whilst Eric Bischoff on Twitter scoffed at the idea he would want to save the company.
The reporter who may have come closest to sniffing out the party who may be the favourite to invest in TNA is Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin who yesterday became the first person to name a suitor with the financial clout to plausibly keep the company afloat:
Our sources tell us one of the organizations discussing a possible partnership with TNA is Summit Strategic Investments, and the deal could be huge for the wrestling company.
SSI has a successful track record and is known for "transforming troubled assets."
Satin went on to explain how Summit Strategic Investments (SSI) is best known for purchasing Segway, a company that manufactured an innovative two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle, in February 2013. Under SSI's ownership, Segway filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission for patent infringement against several Chinese manufacturers of similar vehicles including a company called Ninebot, which led to Segway's sale to Ninebot in April 2015.
The CEO of Summit Strategic Investments, Roger Brown, was also the interim President of Fisker Automotive, dubbed as "the electric car brand that just won’t die", in 2014, helping Fisker to relaunch and rebrand after Wanxiang Group, China's largest auto parts company, won a bankruptcy auction to buy the assets of the failed company.
According to VentureNashville.com, Roger Brown had completed 50 mergers and acquisitions transactions in his 17+ year career as an entrepreneur and investor, over a wide range of different business sectors, but nothing closely related to professional wrestling whatsoever.
So why is he interested in investing in TNA then? Roger's link to pro wrestling, according to Satin, is that his brother Jason Brown is the founder of Aroluxe, which is the company TNA has outsourced production to in 2016 and have themselves been named as a potential investor in TNA. Satin plausibly claims that Aroluxe is not in talks to buy a stake in TNA. Clearly, however, Aroluxe would be the conduit to negotiations between SSI and TNA being initiated and is a party that have an invested interest in seeing the wrestling company stay in business as TNA is one of their main clients.
It should be noted that Summit Strategic Investments is a company that seems to have a track record of buying failing companies on the cheap and selling them on at a later date for a profit. On the positive side, they do seem to have success in this regard, but wrestling is strange territory for them to enter into. Thus, I remain unconvinced that SSI would invest heavily in TNA to turn ratings around in the hope of increasing the value of the brand that way. More likely seems to be TNA continuing on the same meandering course it is on now, maybe with a further round of cost cutting to cut the losses down further, or SSI stripping the company of its assets in order to make a quick buck. Until a sale takes place and there's at least some concrete evidence that the new owners have more of a clue than the old one did, I will continue to believe that TNA doesn't have a very bright future ahead I'm afraid.