New York-based Advance Publications purchases Ironman Group in all-cash transaction

While the competition side of sports has been put on hold for now, the business side continues, including the sale of the Ironman Group.

New York-based Advance Publications Inc. announced Thursday it had entered a definitive stock purchase agreement with Wanda Sports Group Company Limited to acquire the Ironman Group in an all-cash transaction.

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The Ironman Group includes Ironman and Ironman 70.3 triathlons, including two on Hawaii Island — the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii triathlon run along the Kohala coast and the Ironman World Championship, held every October in Kailua-Kona.

The deal is reported to be valued at more than $700 million. Orkila Capital is a co-investor in the deal.

“We remain confident in our future; our focus and objectives are unchanged; and we are ready to face the opportunities and challenges ahead,” Ironman Group CEO Andrew Messick said in a press release. “Together with Advance and Orkila, we will navigate through the turbulent and uncertain period in front of us and continue to deliver the exceptional experiences for which we’re known.”

The Ironman Group, which formed with the first Ironman World Championship on Oahu in 1978, consists of more than 235 events in more than 50 countries and includes triathlons, running, trail running, cycling and mountain biking events.

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The China-based Dalian Wanda Group paid $650 million to acquire World Triathlon Corporation — the Ironman organizing body — in 2015.

According to the press release from the Ironman Group, Wanda Sports Group will continue to operate the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 triathlon series in China under an exclusive license agreement.

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