Houlihan Lokey Advises Alpha Entertainment

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that Alpha Entertainment (the XFL or League) has been acquired by a buyer consortium composed of The Garcia Companies, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and RedBird Capital Partners pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. The transaction closed on August 21, 2020.

The XFL is a fan-first, ultra-accessible, and fast-paced football experience and the most recognizable professional football league in the U.S. outside of the NFL. The League launched in 2020 to great acclaim, introducing innovative rule changes to improve pace of play, increase action, and enhance player safety. Investments in technology, enriched in-game access, and betting industry partnerships created a highly entertaining league that resonated with fans. The XFL’s eight league-owned teams boasted an average attendance of ~20,000 per game and were showcased in four nationally broadcast games every Saturday and Sunday on ABC, FOX, ESPN, and FS1, drawing millions of viewers per game and outperforming several other established and popular professional sports leagues.

Despite the successful launch of the League, due to COVID-19, the XFL was forced to cancel the remainder of its season on March 20 after only five weeks of gameplay, eventually suspending operations and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 13. Houlihan Lokey was retained by the company in late April to run a Section 363 sale process. Through the acquisition, the buyer group has secured the rights to highly attractive intellectual property for a relaunch of the League and further expansion across sports, live events, and original entertainment programming.

The Garcia Companies (TGC) builds a diverse portfolio of innovative, consumer-facing brands through development, investment, or acquisition. TGC’s portfolio includes corporations that serve global markets while adhering to the mindfulness of social, economic, and environmental responsibility. As Chairwoman of TGC, Dany Garcia is the visionary architect behind some of today’s most successful enterprises, brands, and talent.

Among other ventures, Dwayne Johnson is CEO of Seven Bucks Productions, which he co-founded with Dany Garcia, and leads the multiplatform production company pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies, and digital networks. Dwayne Johnson produces and stars in Seven Bucks' tent-pole films and television events, with box office revenues exceeding $10 billion worldwide.

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.

Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial advisor to the company. The transaction highlights Houlihan Lokey’s continued position as a leading advisor in the sports and out-of-home entertainment industry.

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