Adam Paker Ironman Wanda Sports Group

Wanda Sports Group Agrees Sale Of IRONMAN Group To Advance

March 26, 2020

Wanda Sports Group Company Limited today announced that it has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement with Advance, a private, family-owned business, to sell The IRONMAN Group in an all cash transaction at an enterprise value of US $730 million (subject to customary purchase price adjustments).

The IRONMAN Group is comprised of a global portfolio of mass participation sports events, across triathlon, running, trail running, cycling and mountain biking.  As part of the agreement, Wanda Sports Group will continue to operate IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon series, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and Epic Series off-road mountain bike series races of The IRONMAN Group in China under an exclusive license agreement.

Hengming Yang, President and CEO of Wanda Sports Group, said: “This transaction represents a great outcome for both parties. Advance is acquiring the world’s largest organizer of mass participation sports events and a portfolio of brands synonymous with excellence, and we will unlock significant value for our shareholders.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to leverage the strengths of our Infront and Wanda Sports China businesses to expand our global sports, media and marketing platform,” added Mr. Yang. “Our focus remains on ensuring our long-term partners get the most out of every event by increasing appeal, reach and fan engagement, organizing, operating and licensing popular mass participation events, and strengthening our foothold in China to serve the large and fast growing sports market. We will also benefit from a stronger balance sheet as we execute our strategy and create shareholder value.”

Andrew Messick, President & CEO of The IRONMAN Group, said: “We thank Wanda Sports Group for its support over the past four years and are proud of what we have accomplished together.

We look forward to continuing our work in China with Wanda Sports Group in the coming years.  Further, we are excited to join forces with Advance and benefit from its breadth of expertise as we continue to deliver the exceptional experiences for which we are known.”

Based in New York, Advance owns, operates and invests in companies spanning media, entertainment, technology, communications and education.

The sale is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.  The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the sale to repay the principal amount of US$230 million and related interest and fees outstanding under the Credit Suisse facility and the US$50 million outstanding under a promissory note issued to Wanda Sports & Media (Hong Kong) Holding Co. Limited.  As to the balance of the proceeds, the Company intends to use all or a substantial portion of them to fund dividends or share buy-backs, subject to shareholder approval.

Adam Paker Ironman Wanda Sports Group