World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. chairman Vince McMahon (L) and wrestler Triple H perform in the ring during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009
Ethan Mueller | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
World Wrestling Entertainment announced an additional $5 million in payments from former CEO Vince McMahon and delayed its earnings report, according to an SEC filing.
The update comes after a disclosure of $14.6 million in previously unrecognized expenses paid by McMahon and his departure from the company. The Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the hush-hush payments.
McMahon, who retired as CEO and chairman of the company last month, is the company’s largest shareholder with a 32% stake. He bought the company from his father about 40 years ago and oversaw its growth into a global sports-entertainment brand.
McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon, took over as Co-CEO and Chair, while her husband, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, now oversees WWE’s creative content.
In its Tuesday night filing, WWE stated that McMahon’s two newly disclosed payments in 2007 and 2009 were unrelated to allegations of misconduct against McMahon. The Board is currently overseeing an independent investigation into the past payments and allegations.
News of the earlier payments fueled speculation of a WWE sale. On Wednesday, WWE shares rose more than 1% on the latest news to hit a 52-week high.
WWE also said it will not be able to file its quarterly earnings report this week as scheduled due to the circumstances of the unrecognized expenses.
The company released preliminary results for the quarter on July 25 alongside disclosing $14.6 million.