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Business Observer Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020 1 week ago

New York investment firm buys area sports events company

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Tampa-based IRONMAN Group will be part of Advance, which owns several well-known media and entertainment brands.

TAMPA — Advance, a private, family-owned company that owns media and entertainment properties such as magazine publisher Conde Nast, has acquired the Tampa-based IRONMAN Group from Wanda Sports Group Co. Ltd. in an all-cash transaction. 

The IRONMAN Group produces high-profile sports events, such as the IRONMAN series of triathlons and the Epic Series of mountain biking races. According to a press release, The IRONMAN Group holds more than 235 events annually in over 50 countries, and more than 1 million athletes compete in its events every year.

As part of the acquisition, Orkila Capital — a growth equity firm focused on investments in the media, entertainment and consumer sectors — will co-invest in the Ironman Group. Orkila Managing Partner Jesse Du Bey will join the board of directors alongside Andrew Messick, president and CEO of The IRONMAN Group. 

Other terms of the deal, including acquisition cost, were not disclosed in the release. 

"We are pleased with this partnership, which is a testament to Advance's belief in the company," Messick states in the release. "We remain confident in our future; our focus and objectives are unchanged; and we are ready to face the opportunities and challenges ahead. Together with Advance and Orkila, we will navigate through the turbulent and uncertain period in front of us and continue to deliver the exceptional experiences for which we're known.”

Messick adds, via the release, "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."

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