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Wanda has a sporting chance of an US IPO: report
Posted on Friday, 11 January 2019 10:02
Dalian Wanda’s sports arm has opted to carry out an initial public offering (IPO) in the US in the first half of this year that could be worth USD 300.00 million to USD 500.00 million, sources have told Reuters.

The article comes a year since the news provider first hinted the business could list in Hong Kong as the Chinese media-to-property conglomerate seeks to streamline its portfolio amid a government crackdown on overseas deals.

Sources suggested at the time that any such flotation would include Swiss sports marketing group Infront Sports and Media, and Ironman triathlon promoter and organiser World Triathlon, both of which were acquired in 2015.

As first reported, Citigroup is still working in conjunction with Wanda on the unit’s proposed debut, though it seems as though Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have since joined the underwriter.

The listing process has also gathered speed, as Reuters noted paperwork has been filed confidentially with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, the sources could not provide further information and the advisors either declined or were not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters.

According to Wanda’s website, Wanda Sports is the exclusive commercial partner of a dozen international federations, such as FIFA, and has a portfolio of 20 different athletic activities that range from cycling to football.

Subsidiaries with this arm include Infront and World Triathlon, as well as US-based event operator CGI and a China-based division responsible for organising sporting competitions in the country held by the overall group.

A total of 947 IPOs was announced in 2018 that targeted companies registered in China, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands and in all they were worth an aggregate USD 65.36 billion, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

Notable listings last year featured several mainland entities carrying out a listing via an offshore vehicle; these included iQiyi floating in the US in March and Tencent Music in December.

© Zephus Ltd