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Chinese Businessman to Buy TdF, Giro and Vuelta?

by John Symon
December 10, 2015 (Paris, France) – Wang Jianlin, the richest man in China, and his Dalian Wanda Group is apparently in negotiation with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to buy the Tour de France (TdF) reports Cycling Tips, citing Milano Finanza, an Italian national daily business newspaper. Wang is apparently also in negotiation to buy other iconic Grand Tour bike races including the Giro and the Vuelta.

Wang is aggressively acquiring assets in the sporting world; he now owns a 20% stake in Spain’s Atlético Madrid football team. Recently, he bought the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) owners of Ironman, for $650 million USD. Earlier in 2015, he purchased InFront Sports & Media, which holds some of the marketing rights to FIFA’s World Cup.

It remains to be seen if Wang can put enough cash on the table to make ASO happy, but his purchase of the Giro seems to be in the bag. Last month Milano Finanza reported that debts of €440 million ($653m CDN) for the RCS Media Group mean that it could have little choice but to sell Giro organizer, RCS Sport.

“Wanda has a very high expectation for the development and prospects of the sports industry. The significance of establishing Wanda Sports is not only to integrate Wanda’s interests in sports, but also to truly expand and strengthen Wanda’s businesses in the industry, while at the same time grasping the rapidly growing opportunities in the Chinese sports market. We want to truly impact the development of sport around the world,” said Wang in November.

Wang, 60, whose net worth is pegged at US$29.5 billion by Wikipedia, had a long career in the Chinese Communist Party before entering the business world.

Cycling Tips here.

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