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Chinese Conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group to buy Infront Sports and Media AG

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Published on : Feb 04, 2015

According to industry sources, the China based Dalian Wanda Group Co is all set to acquire Infront Sports & Media AG, the Swiss sports marketing company. This marked the firm’s latest move to enter into the entertainment sector. 

The Infront Sports & Media AG is led by Philippe Blatter, who is the nephew of FIFA’s top boss Sepp Blatter. One of the sources disclosed that the company will make the formal announcement of the deal next Tuesday. On condition of anonymity, the second source revealed that Dalian Wanda offered lucrative deal of well above US$1 billion or 900 million euros. This amount was way more than that offered by the US rival sports marketing firms. However, according to the news published in a leading Chinese daily, the amount agreed for the deal is at about 1 billion euros. 

Infront was taken over by the London based private equity group Bridgepoint for 550 million euros. The amount also included the debt of the company as recorded in 2011. In 2013 the company earned revenue that was estimated at about 600 million euros. When Dalian Wanda and Bridgepoint were asked about the deal, both the companies denied commenting on the same. Infront, on the other hand was not available for comment. 

The Zug based company Infront, is the body responsible for distributing the broadcasting rights of major sports events like Olympic winter sports and Soccer World Cup. The company has won exclusive sales rights from FIFA to broadcast every sport event scheduled to take place between 2015 and 2022. This also includes the very highly anticipated soccer World Cups. Infront at present distributes broadcasting right across 26 countries in Asia, which included China as well. 

According to Wang Jianlin, Chairman, Dalian Wanda, the acquisition of Infront was aimed to boost business in the entertainment segment of China’s major property multinational. 

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