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Wanda Sports Seeks U.S. IPO to Raise Up to $500 Million

This IPO could raise between $300 million and $500 million and could happen in the first half of this year, though one source cautioned that $500 million might be high.

Shirley Tian
    Jan 11, 2019 3:15 PM  PT
Wanda Sports Seeks U.S. IPO to Raise Up to $500 Million

Wanda Sports, the sports unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, plans to raise up to $500 million through a U.S. initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. 

The company has filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the listing, according to the source. However, because of the current government shutdown, the SEC is only partially functioning, which is causing delays for upcoming IPOs, especially those listed for the next few months.

This IPO could raise between $300 million and $500 million and could happen in the first half of this year, the source said, though one cautioned that $500 million might be high. 

A Wanda spokesman did not provide any immediate comment.

Wanda's sprawling business empire ranges from real estate to sport to cinemas, but it has been rattled in recent years by a government-led crackdown on overseas deals and high leverage.

The company, owned by Wang Jianlin, one of China's richest men, has since started offloading domestic and overseas holdings, including stakes in the U.S. cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Spanish soccer club Atletico Madridand a handful of property developments.

An IPO of Wanda's sports assets would include Infront Sports & Media AG, a Swiss sports marketing company, and World Triathlon Corp, the organizer and promoter of the Ironman race, three sources previously told Reuters.

The two were acquired in 2015 for $1.2 billion and $650 million respectively. Wanda, while preparing the IPO, had also received offers for the businesses from a number of private equity firms, Reuters reported.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters on the deal, the sources said. 

Chinese companies have dominated the ranks of those looking to go public worldwide, raising $58.2 billion in IPOs last year, accounting for 29 percent of global issuers, according to Refinitiv data.

They have also been active in U.S. listings, raising $9.1 billion last year, the highest level since 2014, Refinitiv data showed.

(Reuters contributed to this story.)

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