IRONMAN® wins race to acquire City2Surf and other iconic sporting events

Clarendon Lawyers is delighted to have advised World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) on its acquisition of five iconic events, The Sun-Herald City2Surf, The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon, Carman’s Women’s Fun Run, Melbourne Corporate Triathlon and Spring Cycle, from Fairfax subsidiaries of Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited (Nine) for $31 million.

Following a highly competitive sale process led by Jefferies Australia, USM Events Pty Ltd (WTC’s wholly owned Australian subsidiary) (USM Events) and subsidiaries of Nine recently entered into a binding agreement, with completion of the purchase expected to occur in the coming weeks.

WTC, which was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group in 2015, operates a global portfolio of events, which includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3®  Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races.

WTC’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings.  In Australia, USM Events runs the Ultra-Trail, Port to Port MTB, Runaway Noosa Marathon and Oceania TriClub Championship.

The acquisition of the events previously operated by Fairfax highlights USM Events’ position as the premier long distance sports events owner and operator in Australia. In particular, City2Surf, with its famous route ending at Bondi Beach and which has been running since 1971, is one of Australia’s most anticipated and popular running events.

The Clarendons team was led by Managing Director, Tony Symons and Senior Associate, Brendan Sheehan, who were assisted by Lawyer, Zhong Wu.

Mr Symons congratulated USM Events and WTC on the acquisition: “We are delighted to have been able to assist USM Events and WTC, longstanding clients of the firm, on the successful purchase of the City2Surf event and other marquee events formerly operated by Fairfax. WTC has a reputation for delivering world-class events in all corners of the globe and this transaction is a game-changer for them and the sports events industry in Australia.”