In a tweet from Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald and confirmed by a press release on FightNetwork.com, news has been broken that Anthem Sports and Entertainment has officially acquired TNA Impact Wrestling.
According to the release, Anthem has “acquired majority interest” in the company and formed Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Ed Nordholm, who is the Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports and Entertainment, will serve as the president of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC going forward. Dixie Carter will resign her position as Chair of Impact Ventures to assume a role on the Advisory Board of Fight Media Group. The release states that Dixie’s focus will be on global growth of the combat sports brands under the Anthem banner.
In this transaction, Dixie will become a minority equity shareholder in TNA. The press release is shown below:
Toronto, Canada (January 4, 2017) – Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in TNA IMPACT Wrestling, and has formed Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Anthem also owns Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, which is IMPACT Wrestling’s exclusive broadcast partner in Canada and worldwide digital partner.
“We are thrilled to have acquired TNA IMPACT Wrestling,” said Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent of Fight Network. “As we grow Anthem’s linear, digital and mobile platforms globally, top tier content with global appeal is key to that success and this acquisition is a perfect strategic addition to our portfolio. IMPACT has been a dominant wrestling brand around the world for more than a decade and we are confident that Anthem can leverage its assets and strategic partnerships to take IMPACT Wrestling to even greater heights.”
Mr. Nordholm, who has been the managing director of the IMPACT Ventures Board of Managers since October 2016, will assume the position of President of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Dixie Carter will resign from her position as Chairman of Impact Ventures and join the Advisory Board of Fight Media Group, which holds all of the combat sports-related assets of Anthem, where her focus will be on the global growth of the combat sports-related brands owned by Anthem.
“Anthem has been a great partner for many years,” added Dixie Carter. “We have worked hard to find the right company who would acquire TNA, use its strategic influence and have a long-term commitment to the brand. TNA’s incredible fans, talent and staff deserved to see the brand continue to thrive after 15+ years of incredible growth. I’m excited to move to a new position and work with Anthem on their global strategic plan, and I am confident TNA IMPACT Wrestling is going to be a huge part of their success.”
Ms. Carter will remain a minority equity stakeholder.
Bill Says: This is somewhat expected given that it’s been a strong rumor ever since Billy Corgan’s suit against Dixie and the Impact management team. Anthem was clearly going to buy the company because they were willing to pay off Billy Corgan’s loans to Dixie Carter. Corgan’s loans included ownership options, and by Anthem paying those debts off they were able to clear the way while he had the option to convert debt to ownership equity.
The big thing here is that Dixie is now a minority stakeholder and has been moved to another role. Carter has been the target of a lot of derision and hate from fans (deserved or not), and quite frankly she has been the face of failure of the company. I’m hoping that by stating her new role and emphasizing the “minority” level of her ownership stake is the end of the line for her being publicly involved in the company.
The next thing for TNA is an image overhaul, and I’m curious to see what Anthem has in mind if anything going forward. The company does a “live” (tape delay) show on Thursday night then marathon tapings from January 6 thru 8 and January 10 thru 12. If you attend any of these shows or tapings, you’re encouraged to send a report to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.