Chinese property and cinema giant Dalian Wanda Group says it’s buying the company that owns the Ironman triathlon brand and race series.
Wanda said in a statement Thursday that it’s paying $650 million for Tampa, Fla.-based World Triathlon Corp. as it forecasts explosive demand in China for the sport.
The acquisition adds to Wanda’s sports investment portfolio, which includes Swiss marketing firm Infront Sports & Media and a stake in Spanish champion football team Atletico Madrid.
The company said its purchase “will bring a top international competition to China for the first time.”
Wanda is controlled by one of China’s richest people, Wang Jianlin. It bought the U.S. movie theatre chain AMC in 2012.