The sports unit of conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group will "eventually" get listed, Chairman Wang Jianlin said at a forum held in Beijing on Sunday, without giving a specific time.
Wanda will expand cooperation with international sports organizations and continue to seek opportunities in overseas acquisitions, said Wang, China's richest man, according to a report on news.xinhuanet.com on Sunday.
Wanda has been expanding its presence in the sports industry. In January 2015, it announced an investment of 45 million euros ($48 million) to acquire a 20 percent stake in top European soccer club Atletico de Madrid. In February 2015, Wanda acquired Infront Sports & Media AG, a leading sports marketing company based in Switzerland, for 1.05 billion euros. In August 2015, it acquired US-based World Triathlon Corp for $650 million.
Chinese companies have shown increasing interest in overseas sports deals, especially for soccer clubs. For instance, electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group Co in June bought nearly 70 percent of Italian soccer club Inter Milan for 270 million euros.
But Wang said that acquisition of sports clubs is only one aspect of Wanda's plans. The company aims to introduce more international sports events to China, according to the report.
Wang told the forum that he sees great potential in China's sports industry. While the total value of the U.S. sports industry accounts for some 3 percent of the country's GDP, China's sports industry only accounts for some 0.7 percent, according to the report.
Wanda has also made several major foreign acquisitions in the entertainment industry. It bought U.S. Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in January and in November, it bought U.S.-based Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion. That company produces the Golden Globes film awards and the "Miss America" pageant.
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