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Wanda To Sell Ironman To Advance Publications For $1.2 Billion


Wanda Sports Group has announced it will sell Ironman for AUD$1.2 billion, in a definitive stock purchase agreement with US media company, Advance Publications.

The all-cash deal will see private equity company Orkila Capital join Advance as co-investors in Ironman for the portfolio that includes events across triathlon, cycling, mountain biking, running and trail running.

Orkila managing director, Jesse Du Bey, was formerly the managing director of private equity firm Providence Equity Partners (PEP), who owned the Ironman organising body before Wanda Sports Group purchased it in 2015.

“Since I last worked with Andrew [Ironman Group president and chief executive, Andrew Messick] and his team, the company has experienced significant growth in its global triathlon event footprint and has successfully expanded into new areas such as running, trail running and mountain biking,” Du Bey said.

Du Bey will re-join the Ironman board of directors with Advance and Andrew Messick, who said he is excited to work with Advance and Orkila to get through the uncertain times caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

“Today is an important milestone for the Ironman Group,” Messick said.

“We are pleased with this partnership, which is a testament to Advance’s belief in the company.

“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,” he said.

Ironman typically holds over 170 events a year around the world, but the Coronavirus epidemic has seen a large number of events in the early stages of the Ironman calendar postponed throughout 2020.

The deal will see Wanda Sports retain an exclusive license agreement to operate the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 triathlon series, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and the Epic Series in China.

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