As announced in August, Dalian Wanda Group, one of the leading Chinese private conglomerates, reached an agreement to acquire IRONMAN from Providence Equity Partners. Today, that transaction is complete and IRONMAN has confirmed that it is now fully owned by Wanda Group.
“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.”
The 2015 acquisition of IRONMAN and Infront Sports & Media properties has 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.
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 (US$86.8 billion) and its annual income reached CYN 242.5 billion (US$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. Looking ahead, by 2020, the company aims to develop into a leading Multinational Corporation (MNC) with total assets of CNY 1 trillion (US$163 billion), annual revenues of CNY 600 billion (US$97.5 billion) and net income of CNY 60 billion (US$9.75 billion).
The IRONMAN acquisition should represent a major shift in gear for the M-Dot brand. While it will be business as usual for the IRONMAN team in Tampa, Florida – with IRONMAN now part of the rapidly expanding Wanda Group, we can expect to see a flurry of activity for IRONMAN and IM 70.3 in the Asia region in particular. This can help to raise the international profile of triathlon – taking swim/bike/run to the masses in a number of key strategic countries, not least China.