Inside Wanda Sports Group’s IPO

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*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.

Wanda Sports Group is the latest company joining the parade of sports-centric IPOs.

Joining a list of the likes of Endeavor and Peloton, Wanda Sports’ IPO is based on building more awareness and funds ahead of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, according to Matthew Smith of Inside the Games.

What is Wanda Sports Group?

It’s the sport and live events unit of Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group.

WSG currently owns Ironman, events like the Rock n’ Roll races and the Cape Epic mountain bike race and Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media.

A look at its financials…

According to its SEC filing earlier this month, here’s a breakdown of some of WSG’s key financial numbers. 

– As of March 31, 2019, WSG had total assets of $2.27 billion, including $209.67 million in cash in hand.

– For the three months ended March 31, 2019, Wanda Sports recorded revenue of $277 million and a loss of $9.6 million.

– For 2018, WSG reported revenues of $1.27 billion and a profit of $58 million. That number is down from $86 million in 2017.

What will the money be used for?

According to the report from Inside the Games, the company will use the money to pay off debt. That debt, according to Mingtiandi, an Asia real estate intelligence publication, is from a loan which it had taken out to pay off a $350 million promissory note to Wanda Group as part of the restructuring that allowed the sports marketing division to win its independence from the rest of Wang Jianlin’s empire.

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Other goals for the money include growing its presence in the Chinese sports media and events market ahead of Beijing 2022. In 2018, over 95 percent of the sports unit’s revenue came from outside China.