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ALPHA ENTERTAINMENT: The Rock’s Group Pays $15 Million for Assets

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Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners said in early August 2020 that they 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 sale auction previously scheduled for Aug. 3 was cancelled.

Through this acquisition, the group secures the ability to option live entertainment intellectual property for further expansion across sports, live events and original entertainment programming.

“For Dwayne, Gerry and myself, this property represents an incredible opportunity. It is the confluence of great passion, tradition and possibility” said Dany 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.”

“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, 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,” said Dwayne Johnson. “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.”

“It is a privilege to partner with Dany and Dwayne on the acquisition of the XFL,” said Gerry Cardinale, Founder and Managing Partner of RedBird Capital Partners. “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.”

“We are grateful for today’s outcome,” said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President and COO. “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 all entertainment and creative verticals involving investments, brand integrations, philanthropic endeavors, marketing, and film and television projects that are rooted in authenticity, passion and strong storytelling with a mission of promoting equality and inclusion.

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.

Sale Approved

Sportico reported that the pending sale of the XFL was approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein following a brief hearing at the federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del.

The sale was complicated by the fact that thousands of creditors claim they are owed money from Alpha. A committee representing unsecured creditors filed an objection to the pending sale, arguing that it failed to maximize the sale price and unwittingly transfers assets to the buyer without accompanying compensation.

These critiques were rebutted by the sworn declarations of Alpha president and COO Jeffrey Pollack and Houlihan Lokey managing director Jay Weinberger, whom Alpha retained for the sale. Pollack and Houlihan both detailed steps taken by Alpha to attract bidders and both acknowledged the difficulty of selling a sports league through a bankruptcy process (particularly during an infectious disease pandemic that adds uncertainty and risk to the transaction).

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, Dwayne Johnson is a global entertainment and entrepreneurial force who continues to grow his groundbreaking success while managing his ever-expanding and diverse entertainment portfolio. 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. A cultural leader with audiences across the globe, Johnson’s expertise is invaluable not just in entertainment, but for first-class brands as well, including his strategic partnership and investment in VOSS Water, his trailblazing Project Rock collection with Under Armour and new investment in Acorns. In 2020, Johnson launched, TEREMANA, a tequila brand rooted from his passion for spirits as well as Athleticon, a one-of-a-kind virtual experience and inaugural live event with the ultimate combination of athletics, wellness and entertainment, created in partnership with Dany Garcia. Johnson’s mission is to continue using his platform to inspire kindness, humility, and hard work, while entertaining global audiences with unique storytelling and authenticity.

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. For more information, please go to www.redbirdcap.com.

About Alpha Entertainment

Alpha Entertainment LLC, which does business as the “Xtreme Football League” is a professional American football league. The XFL kicked off with games beginning in February 2020. The XFL offered fast-paced, three-hour games with fewer play stoppages and simpler rules. The XFL featured eight teams, 46-man active rosters, and a 10-week regular season schedule, with a postseason consisting of two semifinal playoff games and a championship game. The eight XFL teams were the DC Defenders, the Dallas Renegades, the Houston Roughnecks, the Los Angeles Wildcats, the New York Guardians, the St. Louis BattleHawks, the Seattle Dragons, and the Tampa Bay Vipers.

Alpha Entertainment LLC, based in Stamford, CT, filed a Chapter 11 petition (Bankr. D. Del. Case No. 20-10940) on April 13, 2020. The Hon. Laurie Selber Silverstein presides over the case. In its petition, the Debtor was estimated to have $10 million to $50 million in both assets and liabilities. The petition was signed by John Brecker, independent manager.

The Debtor hired Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, as counsel; and Donlin Recano & Company, Inc., as claims agent and administrative advisor.