A Hong Kong listing is being planned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group for offering its sports assets, according to a new report by Reuters
The company has bene attempting to rationalize its portfolio and this plan is being to be part of that effort. The report quoted sources saying that the plan could also involve the sale of other assets.
Sources said that banks were tapped by the conglomerate last month to participate in its potential initial public offering for the sports businesses.
Real estate, football and cinemas are among the business that Wanda is engaged in and the company was flustered in recent times by crack down by the Chinese government related to its overseas deals and high leverage. Wang Jianlin, the owner of the company amongst the richest men in China.
Sources said that World Triathlon Corp, the organizer and promoter of the Ironman race and Infront Sports & Media AG, a sports marketing company in Switzerland would be included in the proposed IPO by Wanda of its sports assets.
The above two companies were taken over by Wanda for $650 million and $1.2 billion respectively in 2015.
Sources also said some of the relatively smaller business of the group in China such as the cycling and basketball leagues would also be put up in the IPO. Sources also said that the share offering would also include the 20 percent stake in the Spanish football club Atletico Madrid that is owned by Wanda and which now has a total value of 67 million euros.
Sources also reportedly said that while Hong Kong would be the most likely place for the IPO, bankers associated with the offering have also suggested a U.S. listing.
The British yacht maker Sunseeker International is also being sought to be sold by Wanda separately, sources said. The company was bought over by Wanda for $495 million in 2013. However, this news has been denied by Sunseeker’s CEO Phil Popham in a statement on Friday.
Chinese authorities had termed the overseas deals made by Wanda in the areas of property, sports and entertainment in the last five years as being “irrational”. The group had made investments of over $13 billion in such deals. Movie studio Legendary Entertainment and cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings are also included in the holdings of Wanda apart from sports.
The new report also quoted sources saying that a pre-IPO funding round is also being contemplated by the company for its sports unit. But all of the plans are still at very early stages of planning even though a chief financial officer for the sports business is being sought by Wanda for leading its fund raising attempts, sources further said.
The company faced trouble in financing as Chinese banks were asked by the government authorities not to lend to any of the overseas acquisitions by the company, last year.
(Adapted form Reuters.com)