Wanda Sports Sets Price Range Ahead of $500 Million IPO in New York

The sports unit of Chinese conglomerate Wanda is expected to become publicly traded on July 26, priced in the range of $12 to $15 per share.

Author: Belinda Zhou   

Wanda Sports Group Co. Ltd., expected to lift off in trading on Wall Street on July 26, has priced its shares at between $12 and $15 apiece, seeking to raise up to $500 million.

The Beijing-based company has applied to list under the symbol "WSG" on the Nasdaq Global Market, offering 33.3 million ADSs, 13.3 million of which will be sold by existing shareholders, according to the regulatory filing from Friday.

Wanda said it intends to use the proceeds from its IPO to repay loans in the amount of $200 million. The company also said it intends to use the funds for strategic investments and general corporate expenses.

The growth in Wanda Sports has slowed during the first quarter this year. It reported revenue of $275.8 million, up 5 percent from the corresponding period in 2018, and losses of $9.7 million, or 6 cents per share. For the full last year, Wanda Sports reported revenue of $1.3 billion, representing an increase of 18 percent from 2017. It said its income was $61.9 million, or 34 cents per share, down 32 percent year-over-year.

The sports unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group claims to be "one of the world's largest sporting events, media and marketing platforms."

"Our mission is to unite people in sports and to enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams," Wanda Sports said in the prospectus. "We do this by delivering unmatched sports event experiences, creating easy access to engaging content and building inclusive communities."

The company leads more than 120 media broadcasts, 326 events, 750 brands and others under its sprawling business lines, covering football, winter sports and summer sports. Its parent company, Dalian, has been cutting its debt burden, selling tangible assets and betting on "asset-light strategy" since April 2017 when Chinese regulators started to pay close attention to its debt.

Listed underwriters on the deal are Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Haitong International Securities Company Ltd., China International Capital Hong Kong Securities Ltd. and CLSA Ltd. in Hong Kong are also securing the deal.