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PTO Renews Interest in Acquiring Ironman

With its new backer, Michael Moritz and his company Crankstart Investments, the Professional Triathletes Organisation once again looks to acquire Ironman's "worldwide triathlon and mass participation business."

The Professional Triathletes Organisation isn’t ready to give up on the goal of owning Ironman. Yesterday it sent another letter to the board of directors at Wanda Sports Group Company Limited, the owners of Ironman, renewing their interest in acquiring the company.

From left to right: Sarah Piampiano, Lionel Sanders, Holly Lawrence, Rachel Joyce, Michael Moritz (Crankstart Investments), Scott DeFelippis, Carrie Lester, Ben Hoffman and Heather Jackson.

Last month we wrote about the PTO’s announcement about the Collins Cup, which is set to go at the end of May, but what was possibly even bigger news was the fact that the PTO had a huge backer in the form of Michael Moritz and his company, Crankstart Investments. Last September the PTO made its first announcement about looking to acquire Ironman, which, at the time, seemed, well, to put it nicely, unrealistic. Bring a billionaire into the mix, though, and suddenly a new “interest” takes on a different tone – especially since Wanda Sport Group’s shares are down to less than $3, half of what the company shares started at when it went public last year.

“We are writing on behalf of the Professional Triathletes Organisation (the “PTO”) to advise you that we have closed on our partnership financing with Crankstart Investments,” reads a letter sent do Wanda Sports’ board today. “We again want to put forth our proposal to enter into discussions for the acquisition by the PTO of all of the assets of the Wanda Sports Group Company Limited (“WSG”) related to its worldwide triathlon and mass participation business (the “WTC Business”).”

Read the full announcement here.

“We strongly believe that it is only with the assistance of the PTO and its professional athletes that the WTC Business has the ability to stabilise and grow, and that without our cooperation the WTC Business would deteriorate,” the letter continues. “We are happy to work with any other financially stable group who may be interested in acquiring the WTC Business, reducing its debt load and unleashing the value only the PTO and its professional athletes can deliver.”

It would appear that PTO has much more than just the Collins Cup on it’s radar these days. If Ironman once again says no to this latest show of interest, one wonders if the PTO will look to make a similar move on Challenge-Family, which will be working with the group to put on the Collins Cup in Samorin, Slovakia.