Wanda revenues fall for third successive year as sports IPO under way
Dalian Wanda, the China-based multinational conglomerate that owns the Infront sports agency and Ironman long-distance triathlon brand, among other sports assets, has revealed that revenue fell 5.7 per cent in 2018.
The fall came as the group came under Chinese government pressure to reduce overseas deals and high leverage.
Total group revenues were Yn214.28 billion ($31.7 billion), representing the third consecutive year of falling revenues for the group.
Saturday's announcement followed last week’s news that Wanda has filed for an initial public offering in USA for its sports unit. The IPO could fetch between $300 million and $500 million, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Wanda Sports Holding was formed on the back of the €1.05-billion ($1.21-billion) acquisition of Infront at the start of 2015, and also houses Wanda’s $650-million investment in the World Triathlon Corporation, owner and organiser of Ironman races.
Also included would be smaller Chinese sport assets such as cycling and basketball leagues.
The government-led crackdown on overseas deals and high leverage has forced major companies like Wanda to reconsider their investment portfolios. Over the past year, Wanda has been offloading domestic and overseas holdings, including stakes in cinema operator AMC Entertainment and Spanish soccer club Atlético Madrid and a handful of property developments.
Last February, Wanda sold its 17-per-cent stake in Atlético to Quantum Pacific Group, the shipping and energy conglomerate, in a deal worth about €50 million.