China's Dalian Wanda to buy Swiss sports firm Infront for €1.05bn
Billionaire Wang Jianlin, the chairman of China's Dalian Wanda Group, in December 2014.Reuters

China's Dalian Wanda Group and a clutch of investors will together acquire Swiss sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media from private equity major Bridgepoint.

Dalian Wanda, in a statement on 10 February, said it will pay approximately €1.05bn ($1.19bn, £781m) for Infront and that the deal "is subject to customary conditions".

The deal will see Dalian Wanda, which controls China's biggest property developer and largest cinema chain, control 68.2% of Infront.

The statement, however, did not name the other investors.

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, said in a statement: "This acquisition of Infront will significantly increase the future impact of the Wanda Group in the culture and entertainment industry and will also drive the development of [the] Chinese sports industry and its interest around the globe.

"Infront, through its long-standing partnerships with some of the most important sports rights-holders, is top-connected in the global sports industry. It is best-positioned to actively support China in its bidding efforts for major sports events, as it is already involved in the planning, delivering, marketing and servicing of a broad array of top international events..."

Philippe Blatter, Infront's President & CEO, added: "Based on our existing strategy and the combined experience of Wanda and Infront, we will continue to grow our business across the board, both internationally as well as in China. We are looking forward to jointly tackle a variety of major expansion projects with the aim to strengthen our leading position in the global sports market..."

The deal comes as Dalian Wanda aggressively expands outside its home market and diversifies through a string of acquisitions.

Last month, Wanda acquired a 20% stake in reigning La Liga champions Atlético de Madrid for €45m.

Jianlin, 60, who has funded football academies in China, is worth $13.2bn, according to Forbes magazine.