Originally announced on Aug 27, Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group reached a deal to acquire World Triathlon Corp (WTC) from Providence Equity Partners for $650 million. The transaction is officially completed on Thursday and WTC is now fully owned by the Chinese company.
The 2015 acquisition of WTC and Infront Sports & Media properties has made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies.
“The acquisition of Ironman by Wanda Group is a momentous step for the future of our brand,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman. “As a globally minded company with a mutual desire for excellence and expansion, especially in Asia, Wanda is the ideal partner. I’m privileged to remain at the helm of this extraordinary organization as we embark on this new chapter in our history. Thank you to Providence Equity Partners for seven outstanding years of ownership.”
WTC, organizer of the Ironman triathlon series, has 91% share in the long-distance triathlon market.
Despite boasting the world's biggest population, the triathlon is still an underdeveloped sports program in China, with only around 100 amateurs competing in most events.
Wanda plans to promote the sport on TV to attract 200,000 regular amateur participants in China within 10 years. Wanda chair Wang Jianlin said triathlons will be held in at least three Chinese cities in 2016.