Pending bankruptcy court approval this week, Hollywood icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and others will purchase the parent company of the XFL, the owner of the St. Louis BattleHawks and other pro football market teams, they announced this week.
Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital Partners have been selected as the winning bidder for substantially all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC, the parent company of the XFL.
The XFL assets will be sold to Garcia, Johnson and RedBird for approximately $15 million, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the asset purchase agreement. The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing this Friday, Aug. 7, and, assuming that closing conditions are satisfied, is expected to close on or shortly after Aug. 21. A sale auction previously scheduled for this week will not occur.
With the acquisition, the group secures the ability to option live entertainment intellectual property for further expansion across sports, live events and original entertainment programming.
The XFL teams were an owned-and-operated member of the XFL founded by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment. The St. Louis BattleHawks, one of the league’s eight teams, played its home games at The Dome at America’s Center this year, before the league folded this spring, cut short by the coronavirus. The XFL, like most sports leagues, was forced to cancel its 10-game season over COVID-19 restrictions that limited attendance.The league had said there was no plans for a return in 2021.
“For Dwayne, Gerry (Cardinale) and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility” said businessman Garcia. “Sports and entertainment are the foundations of the businesses I have built. Melding our expertise combined with our commitment to deliver exciting and inspiring unique content, has us all focused on developing the XFL brand into a multi-media experience that our athletes, partners and fans will proudly embrace and love.”
Johnson, in the statement, said the acquisition “is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things – my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans. With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”
Cardinale, the founder and managing partner of RedBird Capital Partners, said it was a privilege to partner with Johnson and Garcia.
“Their track record in building dynamic businesses speaks for itself, and their vision and passion for developing the XFL as a world class sports and entertainment property will enable a new future for this organization. As their partner in acquiring and relaunching the XFL, RedBird will bring its own track record and experience in building world class companies in sports and live entertainment to help realize their vision.”
Jeffrey Pollack, XFL president and COO, compared the developments to a fulfilling, cinematic finish.
“We are grateful for today’s (Monday’s) outcome,” Pollack said. “This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and it is an exciting new chapter for the league. Dwayne, Dany and Gerry are a dream team ownership group and the XFL is in the best possible hands going forward.”
Garcia and Johnson are co-founders of Seven Bucks Companies, a multi-platform enterprise pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies and digital networks, and have been behind some of the most successful platforms in global entertainment. Through their joint enterprise, Garcia and Johnson’s work spans several entertainment and creative investments, brand integrations, philanthropic endeavors, marketing, and film and television projects.
Over the last 20 years, Cardinale has been responsible for the creation of several multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment companies in partnership with some of the most iconic rights holders in the world, including the YES Network with the New York Yankees; Legends Hospitality with the Yankees and Dallas Cowboys; On Location Experiences with the National Football League (NFL); and OneTeam Partners with the Players’ Associations of the NFL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, United States Women’s National Soccer Team and Women’s National Basketball Association.
About Dany Garcia
As founder, chairwoman and CEO of The Garcia Companies and TGC Management and Co-Founder of Seven Bucks Companies, Dany Garcia is the visionary architect of some of the most successful enterprises, brands and talent. Her immersive global approach within ever-changing landscapes paired with precise instincts have led to unprecedented box office success and innovative business partnerships across verticals. With unbridled athleticism as a professional bodybuilder, Garcia also flawlessly pioneers her expansive enterprise while competing at the highest level. Her global audience can expect trailblazing initiatives throughout 2020 and beyond, as Garcia continues to keep human needs and experience at the forefront of her endeavors across the spaces of mental and physical wellness, athletics, entertainment, spirits, finance and more. In 2019, Garcia, in partnership with Dwayne Johnson, announced one of their most ambitious endeavors to date – Athleticon, a first-of-its-kind community-driven virtual experience. The inaugural, eponymous counterpart, an immersive event experience celebrating the very best in athletics, wellness and entertainment will take place in October 2021 in Atlanta. Garcia’s passion for bettering the world through socially responsible decisions is consistently reflected in the culture of her teams and the businesses she builds.
About Dwayne Johnson
As CEO of Seven Bucks Companies, Johnson is a global entertainment and entrepreneurial force who continues to grow his groundbreaking success while managing his ever-expanding and diverse entertainment portfolio. The Rock played college football at the University of Miami before becoming a pro wrestling superstar with Vince McMahon’s WWE.
In 1995, Johnson had just been cut from the Canadian Football League and famously had just $7 in his pocket. Today, Johnson produces and stars in Seven Bucks’ tent-pole films and television events with box office revenues exceeding $10 billion worldwide, making him one of the most successful film stars of all time. He also holds a a strategic partnership and investment in VOSS Water, and has a Project Rock collection with Under Armour and a new investment in Acorns. In 2020, Johnson launched, TEREMANA, a tequila brand rooted from his passion for spirits as well as Athleticon, a virtual experience and inaugural live event that combines athletics, wellness and entertainment, created in partnership with Dany Garcia.
About RedBird Capital Partners
RedBird Capital Partners is a private investment firm focused on building high-growth companies with flexible, long-term capital in partnership with its Entrepreneur & Family Office Network. Founded by former Goldman Sachs Partner Gerry Cardinale, RedBird today manages $4 billion of capital principally across its core industry verticals in Sports, TMT, Financial Services and Consumer. RedBird invests with an entrepreneurial, company-building mentality, with an emphasis on capital appreciation and compounding equity returns over longer holding periods. RedBird’s network of business founders and entrepreneurs is central to its investment sourcing strategy, and its highly curated group of investors are active co-investors who provide scaleable capital support.