Wanda Group acquires World Triathlon Corp for $650 million

  • February 02, 2013

Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. (“Wanda”), one of the leading Chinese private conglomerates, has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) for $650 million. The acquisition by Wanda heralds yet another landmark investment in the sports sector following Infront Sports & Media and Atletico Madrid.

This acquisition will bring a top international competition to China for the first time and marks a key milestone in the development of China’s sports industry. Following the acquisition, Wanda will become the largest sports operating company in the world.

Triathlons are regarded as the pinnacle of world sport. Officially included in the Olympic Games, they are comprised of three disciplines, swimming, cycling, and running, completed in succession. The schedule is long and grueling, and tests athlete’s fitness, stamina and skill, making it one of the most stimulating, challenging and watchable extreme sports in the world. The Ironman is a triathlon completed within a strict time limit, and is a popular global sporting event that is split into different levels according to age and ability. In the US alone, over 480,000 people participate in triathlon events, with over 4400 separate races held each year.

WTC is headquartered in Tampa, Florida USA. It is the world’s largest operator of Ironman events and the most well-known Ironman brand; as the owner of the sporting brand and the operator of the competition, WTC accounts for a 91% global market share of long-distance triathlon events. WTC has organized, promoted and licensed triathlon events for 37 years, and owns five exclusive triathlon brands, operating at least 250 events every year around the world. Its flagship brands are IRONMAN® (3.9km swim + 180km cycle + 42km run) and IRONMAN® 70.3® (1.9km swim + 90km cycle + 21.1km run) and are the world’s largest competition participation platforms, holding more than 130 races with over 230,000 competitors.. IWTC’s gross revenue has risen at a CAGR of 40% for four consecutive years, while net profit has grown at 40% a year. Due to its strong brand and unique business model, the company is expected to maintain a high visibility and shows fast-growing future business prospects.

Wanda’s acquisition of WTC achieves multiple strategic goals. Firstly, it expands the industry scale of Wanda sports. At present, major global sports industries are largely situated in Europe and America, and acquisitions are the only way for most companies to scale up efficiently. After the acquisition of WTC, Wanda will become the largest...

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