City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Updated: June 30, 2021

Status: Settled

Labaton Sucharow is court-appointed lead counsel in a securities class action lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment (“WWE”) and certain of the Company’s executives related to allegedly false and misleading statements and omissions about the status of WWE’s media rights agreements in the Middle East North Africa region (“MENA”) from February 7, 2019, through February 5, 2020 (the “Class Period”).

The case asserts class action claims on behalf of stock purchasers, including violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. It is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York before Judge Jed S. Rakoff (the “Action”). 

On June 8, 2020, the lead plaintiff filed the Amended Complaint alleging that Defendants made materially false and misleading statements and omissions with respect to WWE’s (i) “renewal” of a media rights agreement in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region with Orbit Showtime Network (“OSN”) and (ii) ability to obtain a new media rights agreement with the Saudi government. Lead Plaintiff alleged that such statements were false and misleading because: (i) senior WWE officials have since admitted that the agreement with OSN was terminated early and that renewal of the agreement was not possible, and (ii) WWE and the Middle East Broadcasting Company (“MBC”)—owned and controlled by the Saudi government and negotiating on the Saudi government’s behalf—were worlds apart in negotiations on the MENA media rights deal, including after the WWE’s made statements about an “agreement in principle” in July 2019. Lead Plaintiff further alleged that the price of WWE publicly traded common stock was artificially inflated as a result of Defendants’ allegedly false and misleading statements and omissions, and that the price declined when the truth was allegedly revealed through a series of partial revelations.

On June 26, 2020, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint, and on July 14, 2020, Lead Plaintiff filed its memorandum of law in opposition to the motion to dismiss. On July 21, 2020, Defendants filed their reply memorandum of law and, on July 30, 2020, the Court heard oral argument on Defendants’ motion to dismiss. On August 6, 2020, the Court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss.

The Parties reached an agreement to settle the Action in November 2020 and executed a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement on December 22, 2020.  The Court granted preliminary approval on March 7, 2021 and granted final approval on June 30, 2021. 

The Action is City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., No. 20-cv-02031 (S.D.N.Y.). Labaton Sucharow represents Lead Plaintiff the Firefighters’ Pension System of the City of Kansas City, Missouri Trust.