China's Wanda completes merger of World Triathlon Corporation

Updated: 2015-11-20 07:33:05

Wanda Plaza in Harbin city, China's Heilongjiang province, Sept 20, 2015. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group finished a merger of World Triathlon Corp (WTC) on Thursday, making it the world's largest sports company.

The two companies inked an agreement on Aug 27 confirming that Wanda had purchased WTC for $650 million.

Wanda, the giant property developer, has been enhancing its portfolio with sports acquisitions. It purchased Swiss sports marketing group Infront Sports & Media for 1.05 billion euros ($1.2 billion) earlier this year, and a 20-percent stake in Spanish soccer team Atletico Madrid.

Florida-based WTC, organizer of the Ironman triathlon series, has a 91-percent share of the long-distance triathlon market.

Despite boasting the world's biggest population, the triathlon is still an underdeveloped sports program in China, with only around 100 amateurs competing in most events.

Wanda plans to promote the sport on TV to attract 200,000 regular amateur participants in China within 10 years.

Wanda chair Wang Jianlin said triathlons will be held in at least three Chinese cities in 2016.

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