After being sued for misrepresenting their business dealings in Saudi Arabia, WWE reached a nearly 40 million dollar settlement last year to make the investor lawsuit go away.
A new filing with the SEC shows that WWE has now settled more lawsuits related to their business dealings in Saudi Arabia:
...Among other things, the plaintiffs in the Actions have alleged violations by certain current and former Company directors and officers related to disclosures concerning the Company’s business relationship in and with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that certain of these defendants engaged in improper stock trading.
The proposed settlement would include, among other things, a full release of all defendants in connection with all allegations made in the Actions, and it would not contain any admission of liability or admission as to the validity or truth of any or all allegations or claims by the Company or any of the other defendants. The proposed settlement also would provide that the Company will implement and maintain certain corporate governance measures. As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs have indicated an intent to seek payment of their attorneys’ fees, reimbursement of expenses, and case contribution awards, which the proposed settlement provides would be paid by the Company’s insurance carriers. The proposed settlement remains subject to shareholder notice, court approval and other customary conditions. In the event that the parties are not able to cause all of these conditions to be satisfied, the Company and the other defendants intend to continue to vigorously defend against the claims asserted in the Actions.
Although the Company and the other defendants have denied, and continue to deny, all claims asserted by the plaintiffs in the Actions, the Company believes that resolving the Actions in accordance with the terms of the proposed settlement is the proper business decision and that it is prudent to end the protracted and uncertain derivative litigation process on the terms of the proposed settlement.
The business reason for the original lawsuit is based on the allegation that WWE intentionally lied about the state of their television negotiations in Saudi Arabia, leading to inflated stock prices. But the lawsuit was also set to include testimony from a confidential witness who was going to discuss details related to the travel debacle at Crown Jewel 2019, which was tantamount to a hostage situation for the wrestlers who were detained.
Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer says these are details that WWE doesn’t want to be publicly known:
“WWE settled another nine lawsuits regarding Saudi Arabia...for the same reason they settled the other ones. Because they don’t want the witnesses to be deposed and have it on public record what actually happened. The first time they settled for 37 million, so that tells you that they were definitely afraid of information getting out or what would happen if it went to trial...and so you got a whole bunch of more lawsuits that came up, based on the fact that the first set of lawsuits got 37 million. So it was a given that if they couldn’t get the lawsuits thrown out, and obviously they couldn’t, that right after that there would be a settlement. So that’s exactly what happened again.”
Unlike the case from last year, the financial terms of the latest settlements have not been disclosed. We know that WWE is on the hook for all attorneys’ fees and expenses, but no specific numbers for the settlement have been provided.