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Chinese firm, backed by billionaire, buys Ironman


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  • | 4:37 p.m. August 28, 2015
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  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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TAMPA — Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., a company owned by one of the richest men in Asia, purchased Tampa-based World Triathlon Corp., the owner and operator of the Ironman series of races.

The Chinese conglomerate, owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, paid $650 million for World Triathlon. Dalian also took on World Triathlon's debt, according to a statement.

The acquisition will bring the international competition to China for the first time and makes Dalian Wanda one of the largest sports operators in the world, the release adds.

Through its Ironman brand, World Triathlon accounts for 91% of the global marketshare for long-distance triathlon events. The company has organized, promoted and licensed triathlon events for 37 years, and owns five triathlon brands, operating at least 250 events annually worldwide. Its gross revenue has risen at a compound annual growth rate of 40% for four consecutive years, and its net profit has grown by 40% a year, the release states.

Dalian Wanda says the management at World Triathlon opted to stay with the company and signed long-term contracts.

 

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