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Ironman buys Competitor Group Holdings

Published June 2, 2017

TAMPA, Fla. (BRAIN) — Ironman, the owner of the Ironman triathlon brand and related holdings, has acquired Competitor Group Holdings, Inc., which owns the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series and media titles including VeloNews, Women's Running, Triathlete, and Competitor. CGI also owns the Race IT event registration service.

The company said the acquisition makes Ironman "the leading endurance sports organization in the world."

"This is an important step in the growth Ironman has seen over the last decade," said Andrew Messick, Ironman's CEO. "As a globally recognized endurance brand, the acquisition of the world's largest running platform puts us in an exciting position for the future growth of running worldwide. The ability to help globalize the successful Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series brings about many opportunities to demonstrate our leadership in this industry."

CGI operates more than 30 running events including the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, that register more than 600,000 athletes each year. Ironman already owns or operates more than 20 running races worldwide, including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, ASB Auckland Marathon, Marathon Bordeaux and Across the Bay 10k.

Ironman in recent years also has moved into cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, and the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race.

"This is a game changing development for the future of CGI and a clear signal into the investment being made in the global running community," said Josh Furlow, the president of CGI. "Ironman is a tremendous organization with incredible brand strength and I look forward to working with Andrew to bring together two of the world's greatest event producers collectively as one team."

A purchase price was not announced. Lazard Middle Market acted as financial advisor to CGI in the transaction.

Ironman is owned by Wanda Sports Holdings, which is headquartered in Guangzhou, China. The company also owns movie theaters worldwide and part of a Spanish pro soccer team.

Calera Capital Partners bought CGI in 2012 from Falconhead Capital for a reported $260 million. 

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