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Bulls Spark Record Gain For Ironman Race Owner Wanda Sports

Kamaron Leach
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Bulls Spark Record Gain For Ironman Race Owner Wanda Sports

(Bloomberg) -- Wanda Sports Group Co. -- a global sports marketing firm and event promoter -- has nabbed the interest of Wall Street bulls, suggesting it could be the next tech and media darling, and further indicating the growth in investor demand for Chinese stocks.

American depository receipts in the Beijing-based company rose the most on record Wednesday, climbing 13% in New York, as several investment banks initiated the stock with buy-equivalent ratings. Deutsche Bank said the company is “well positioned for growth” in a “highly fragmented industry offering substantial organic and inorganic growth opportunities.”

Wanda Sports, which owns the organizer of the Ironman triathlon race, began trading on the Nasdaq in late July. While it has lost almost half of its market value since its debut, Morgan Stanley sees the company as a “distinctive asset at [a] distressed valuation.”

The fast-growing global sports industry has Morgan Stanley optimistic, and Wanda Sports’ portfolio of mass participation and spectator events worldwide “are relatively resilient amid macro uncertainties.” The firm began coverage of the stock with an overweight rating and $8 target.

Wanda Sports, a unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co., prompted Citigroup to also join the bullish wave with its buy rating. Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley led the company’s initial public offering. Loop Capital’s buy call turns a focus to China, which the firm sees as Wanda Sports’ “largest growth opportunity.”

While investor reception has most recently been lukewarm, the “company’s reach into China will be an increasingly important differentiator with sports federations looking to expand global audience and participation,” said Loop Capital managing director Alan Gould.

(Updates shares and chart, adds more commentary in final paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamaron Leach in New York at kleach6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Morwenna Coniam

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