Chinese property and entertainment giant Dalian Wanda Group has agreed to buy Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media AG for 1.05 billion euros (US$1.19 billion).
The acquisition will help the company’s presence in sports in China and bolster its influence in global sports, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the company’s statement in a press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.
Infront, based in Zug, Switzerland, handles media and marketing rights for international sports events and organizations. It has held production rights for the World Cup, represents some Olympic winter-sport federations and does media and marketing for the Chinese Basketball Association.
Infront president and chief executive Philippe Blatter, who is the nephew of FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, said Wanda’s investment will help his company improve its offerings in sports.
The deal follows Wanda’s acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Spanish soccer club Atlético Madrid for 45 million euros late last month. The company is also investing 20 million euros annually over the next two years to support the development of 180 young Chinese soccer players in Spain.
Infront is the exclusive sales representative for distribution of broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, the newspaper said, citing information on the company’s website.
It also has sales-representative rights for FIFA events in 26 Asian territories, including China and India, from 2015 to 2022.
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