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Dwayne Johnson, Garcia and RedBird buy XFL for $15 million

(Reuters) - Former wrestler and Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson teamed up with ex-wife Dany Garcia and investment company RedBird Capital Partners to buy the XFL for $15 million, hours before the bankrupt American football league was set to be auctioned.

They were selected as the winning bidder for “substantially all of the assets of Alpha Entertainment LLC” - parent company of the XFL.

The XFL, a reboot of the 2001 league of the same name, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, a month after it had to cancel the remainder of its inaugural season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are grateful for today’s outcome. This is a Hollywood ending to our sale process and it is an exciting new chapter for the league,” XFL president and COO Jeffrey Pollack said in a statement on Monday.

“(They) are a dream team ownership group and the XFL is in the best possible hands going forward.”

The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval at a hearing on Friday.

The brainchild of Vince McMahon, the XFL 2.0 was the second attempt by the World Wrestling Entertainment CEO to provide an NFL alternative to American football fans.

Popularly known as ‘The Rock’, Johnson is famous for his roles in popular movie franchises such as the ‘Fast & Furious’ and ‘Jumanji’.

“With gratitude and passion I’ve built a career with my own two hands and will apply these callouses to our @xfl2020 brand,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Excited to create something special for the fans!”

The 48-year-old was a college football player at the University of Miami who went undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft before he eventually switched to wrestling.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis and Christian Radnedge

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