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Tampa’s Ironman Group sells for $730 million

Margie Manning

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Photo by Beau Runsten on Unsplash

Advance, a privately owned family business, has a deal to buy The IRONMAN Group in Tampa.

The all-cash deal has a transaction value of $730 million, according to a news release from Wanda Sports Group Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: WSG), IRONMAN’s parent company.

Advance, based in New York, owns, operates and invests in media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other growth sectors. Its portfolio includes American City Business Journals, the parent company of the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

In is own news release, Advance said Orkila Capital, a growth equity firm, will co-invest in the deal. Jesse Du Bey, managing partner of Orkila, will join the board of directors alongside Advance and Andrew Messick, president and CEO of The IRONMAN Group.

“Today is an important milestone for The IRONMAN Group. We are pleased with this partnership, which is a testament to Advance’s belief in the company,” Messick said. “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.”

The IRONMAN Group includes a global portfolio of mass participation sports events, across triathlon, running, trail running, cycling and mountain biking. As part of the agreement, Wanda Sports Group will continue to operate IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon series, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and Epic Series off-road mountain bike series races of The IRONMAN Group in China.

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group bought what at the time was called World Endurance Holdings in 2015 for $650 million, and last year spun off Wanda Sports Group as a public company.

Credit Suisse was the exclusive financial advisor and Reed Smith LLP was the legal advisor to Wanda Sports Group. Advance was advised by BofA Securities and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.

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