Tampa, Fla./Beijing, China (August 26, 2015) – Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. (“Wanda Group”), one of the leading Chinese private conglomerates, has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of IRONMAN for an equity value of approximately $650 million from Providence Equity Partners. As part of the transaction, Wanda Group will work with the current lending group and assume IRONMAN’s existing indebtedness. The acquisition by Wanda Group heralds yet another landmark investment in the sports sector following Infront Sports & Media and Atletico Madrid.
“Wanda Group’s acquisition of IRONMAN marks another exciting chapter and opportunity for the future growth of IRONMAN after seven very successful years of ownership by Providence Equity Partners,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “Wanda Group is a global-minded organization that shares our desire for excellence and continued growth, particularly in Asia. We are delighted to be part of the Wanda Group family of companies and are excited about the future of IRONMAN as we continue to provide life changing race experiences for athletes of all levels from their first step to the finish line.”
The iconic IRONMAN brand is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Its flagship races are IRONMAN® triathlons, which consists of a 3.9km (2.4 mile) swim, 180km (112 mile) bike and 42km (26.2 mile) run, and IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlons, which consist of a 1.9km (1.2 mile) swim, 90km (56 mile) bike, and 21.1km (13.1 mile) run. From its beginnings on the shores of Waikiki Beach on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii in 1978, IRONMAN 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.
IRONMAN is expected to generate $183 million in revenue in 2015 and has increased revenue at a CAGR of 21% over the past four years. Due to its unique business model and proprietary intellectual property, the company is expected to deliver strong continued growth going forward.
The 2015 acquisitions of IRONMAN and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. With these new businesses, Wanda Group now has sports sales, media & marketing, and operational capabilities on six continents with strong positions in North America, Europe, China, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Davis Noell, Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with IRONMAN over the past seven years and are pleased with the company’s growth and operational excellence under Andrew’s leadership. We have great respect for Wanda Group and its leading global sports platform and believe IRONMAN is well positioned to continue its success with their support.”
Allen & Company LLC is serving as financial advisor to Providence Equity and IRONMAN, with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP serving as legal counsel. Reed Smith LLP is serving as legal counsel to Wanda Group in the transaction.
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Dalian Wanda Group
Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates in four key business segments: commercial property, entertainment & tourism, e-commerce and financial services. In 2014, the company’s assets totaled at CNY 534.1 billion (USD 86.8 billion) and its annual income reached CYN 242.5 billion (USD 39.4 billion). The company now operates 109 Wanda Plazas, 71 hotels (including 68 five-star hotels), 6,600 cinema screens and 99 department stores nationwide. Looking ahead, by 2020, the company aims to develop into a leading Multinational Corporation (MNC) with total assets of CNY 1 trillion (USD 163 billion), annual revenues of CNY 600 billion (USD 97.5 billion) and net income of CNY 60 billion (USD 9.75 billion).
About Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners is the world’s leading global private equity firm focused on equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies. The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Delhi. Visit www.provequity.com for more information.
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