|The 2015 acquisitions of Ironman and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. Logo: Dalian Wanda Group|
U.S. Navy Commander John Collins founded the race in 1978 to compare three already existing endurance races. Around 1979 Collins no longer wanted to direct the Ironman race and approached Nautilus Fitness Center owners Hank Grundman and Valerie Silk about taking over control of the race. Following personal circumstances in 1981 Silk received ownership of Ironman. 
Davis Noell, Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, Andrew Messick, CEO of WTC comments on the deal, following lastest Dalian Wanda acquistions of Infront Sports & Media and Atletico Madrid. Surprisingly a Dalian Wanda Group spokesperson didn't released a statement in this press release:
Wanda Group Acquires IRONMAN for Equity Value Of $650 Million From Providence Equity Partners
Upd.: According to Slowtwitch all top management staff members are required to stay at WTC a 5 year term. Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. (“Wanda Group”), one of the leading Chinese private conglomerates, has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of IRONMAN for an equity value of approximately $650 million from Providence Equity Partners. As part of the transaction, Wanda Group will work with the current lending group and assume IRONMAN’s existing indebtedness. The acquisition by Wanda Group heralds yet another landmark investment in the sports sector following Infront Sports & Media and Atletico Madrid.
“Wanda Group’s acquisition of IRONMAN marks another exciting chapter and opportunity for the future growth of IRONMAN after seven very successful years of ownership by Providence Equity Partners,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “Wanda Group is a global-minded organization that shares our desire for excellence and continued growth, particularly in Asia. We are delighted to be part of the Wanda Group family of companies and are excited about the future of IRONMAN as we continue to provide life changing race experiences for athletes of all levels from their first step to the finish line.”
The iconic IRONMAN brand is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Its flagship races are IRONMAN® triathlons, which consists of a 3.9km (2.4 mile) swim, 180km (112 mile) bike and 42km (26.2 mile) run, and IRONMAN® 70.3® triathlons, which consist of a 1.9km (1.2 mile) swim, 90km (56 mile) bike, and 21.1km (13.1 mile) run. From its beginnings on the shores of Waikiki Beach on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii in 1978, IRONMAN has organized, promoted, and licensed triathlon events for 37 years, and owns five exclusive triathlon brands, operating at least 250 events every year around the world.
IRONMAN is expected to generate $183 million in revenue in 2015 and has increased revenue at a CAGR of 21% over the past four years. Due to its unique business model and proprietary intellectual property, the company is expected to deliver strong continued growth going forward.
The 2015 acquisitions of IRONMAN and Infront Sports & Media properties have made Wanda Group one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sports companies. With these new businesses, Wanda Group now has sports sales, media & marketing, and operational capabilities on six continents with strong positions in North America, Europe, China, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Davis Noell, Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with IRONMAN over the past seven years and are pleased with the company’s growth and operational excellence under Andrew’s leadership. We have great respect for Wanda Group and its leading global sports platform and believe IRONMAN is well positioned to continue its success with their support.”
Dalian Wanda required key employees to agree to 5-year employment agreements as a condition of the deal, and the office is not moving from Tampa, Florida. It seems to want stability and continuity.
- Dalian Wanda Group in talks to acquire World Triathlon Corporation and IRONMAN triathlon for USD 850 million
- Ironman History
- Dalian Wana Group
- Providence Equity
- The New York Times: China's Dalian Wanda Buys Ironman Triathlon Brand for $650M
- Ironman sold to Dalian Wanda
- Ironman to be Acquired by China's Dalian Wanda