Business

The Chinese firm behind the Ironman triathlon is finding Wall Street tough going

Posted July 26, 2019 4:13 a.m. EDT

— The Chinese company behind the Ironman triathlon is warming up for its Wall Street debut.

Wanda Sports, a subsidiary of Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group, is scheduled to start trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange Friday. The firm owns Ironman organizer World Triathlon Corporation and the Swiss sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media.

The company originally wanted to raise as much as $500 million for its initial public offering, but it has since tempered expectations. It said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it will issue 28 million shares for $9 to $11 each, which would allow it to raise up to $308 million.

The company wants to use the funds to pay down its debt and fund strategic investments, among other initiatives, according to its IPO prospectus.

Dalian Wanda Group acquired Infront Sports & Media in 2015 for $1.2 billion, and it bought World Triathlon Corp for $650 million later the same year. Wanda Sports was established in December 2015.

Dalian Wanda Group used to be one of China's most aggressive overseas investors, pouring money into real real estate projects in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Istanbul as well as Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid and the Hollywood studio that produced "Jurassic World." But it has been offloading assets to repay debt since Beijing began to crack down on overseas investments by Chinese companies two years ago.

Wang said at the beginning of this year that Wanda Sports had a goal to "conduct capital market operations and yield results." Wanda Group did not respond to a CNN Business request for comment Friday.

Wang is one of the richest men in China, according to an index of billionaires compiled by Bloomberg. But his net worth has fallen substantially in recent years, from nearly $32 billion in 2017 to $16.5 billion now.