Wanda considers IPO for cycling, triathlon holdings
Chinese real estate and entertainment company Wanda Group may list its sports holdings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which includes the World Triathlon Corporation and the Tour de Suisse, among other assets. The news was reported by Reuters, which referenced five sources familiar with the situation.
In June, World Triathlon Corporation purchased the Competitor Group, which was at that time the owner of VeloNews magazine and VeloNews.com.
Owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, Wanda also owns a wide range of sports holdings, from cycling and basketball leagues in China to a sizable stake in Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid. In 2015, the group acquired Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media — which owns the Tour de Suisse — as well as World Triathlon Corporation, which operates the Ironman and 70.3 triathlon series.
In 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wanda was looking to acquire ASO and the Tour de France after the company unsuccessfully tried to buy the RCS Sport and the Giro d’Italia from Italian group RCS Mediagroup.
According to Reuters, the IPO is part of Wanda’s efforts to rationalize its broad portfolio across sports, real estate, and entertainment. Over the last few years, Wanda has acquired several high-profile entertainment assets, including American film production company Legendary Entertainment and movie theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings.
In 2017, Chinese regulators told banks to stop providing funding for several of Wanda’s major acquisitions to curb the company’s buying spree.