Stephanie McMahon and Triple H opposed a potential WWE sale, while AEW's Tony Khan and Shad Khan are potential buyers for the company, reports say.
Axios reports that former WWE co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and current chief content officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque opposed plans to sell the company, according to its sources.
Stephanie resigned from the company on Tuesday, four days after Vince McMahon returned to the company as executive chairman of the board of directors.
Barron's states that AEW is a potential buyer, but "...the Khans will likely look for a financial partner to acquire the asset."
CNBC couches a potential AEW and WWE merger as a longshot, but notes that the Khans would be open to discussing a continued role for executive chairman McMahon should AEW and WWE merge:
The Khans are open to discussing a potential role for McMahon, 77, after a sale but haven’t yet had those talks
WWE announced on January 6 that it would explore "strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value," widely believed to mean pursuing a sale of the company, while noting "There is no assurance that this process will result in a transaction."
CNBC reported on January 7 that WWE had hired JPMorgan to advise the company on a potential sale.
On Thursday, WWE announced in a press release that they had retained the services of three outside groups in connection with pursuing strategic alternatives.
In the release, WWE said that The Raine Group would serve as financial advisor, Kirkland & Ellis would serve as legal advisor, and August would serve as communications advisor in the strategic alternatives initiative.
WWE went on to say that they would not provide a strategic initiatives timetable:
There can be no assurances given regarding the outcome or timing of the strategic alternatives review process. WWE does not intend to comment further until the process has concluded or the Company has otherwise determined that further disclosure is appropriate or required.