Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda has announced its intentions to purchase Swiss sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media.
The deal, worth around $1.19 billion (£780 million), will involve Dalian Wanda teaming up with a group of investors to acquire 68.2 per cent of Infront. The Swiss firm is currently owned by private equity company Bridgepoint but Wanda has not disclosed information about any of the shareholders involved.
Wanda is chaired by Chinese entrepreneur Wang Jianlin. Worth around $13.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine, Mr Jianlin is currently the second-richest man in the Asian country behind Alibaba boss Jack Ma. He has previously shown interest in investing in sports firms after previously owning Dalian Wanda FC.
Mr Jianlin said about the Infront deal: "This acquisition of Infront will significantly increase the future impact of the Wanda Group in the culture and entertainment industry and will also drive the development of Chinese sports industry and its interest around the globe.
"Infront, through its long-standing partnerships with some of the most important sports rights-holders, is top-connected in the global sports industry."
This is just the latest sporting deal Mr Jianlin has made in recent months. In January, he purchased a 20 per cent stake in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid. The Chinese billionaire paid €45 million (£34 million) for the share in the La Liga champions as he looks to diversify his business empire.
Infront is just the latest sports company to be purchased by Mr Jianlian's firm. The Swiss company holds broadcasting rights to some of the biggest events in sports. In the past it has shown tournaments such as the football World Cup, the German football league and the Italian football league.
It has not been without its controversies however, as FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been criticised for awarding Infront television rights for World Cups in the past, Mr Blatter's newphew Philippe Blatter is chief executive of Infront.
StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.
No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.