IRONMAN today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Lagardère Sports' endurance division, which includes races in three continents and eight countries.

IRONMAN will therefore own and/or operate an additional five International Triathlon Union (ITU) events, four marathons, six cycling races as well as a number of other participation events. These events are expected to serve an estimated 140,000 participants in 2016.

"Lagardère Sports has built innovative and world-class events which, when added to our global event portfolio, further builds our company and strengthens the entire endurance business under the roof of Wanda Sports Holding," said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. "These iconic events, and the teams that have created and managed them, will further strengthen our position in triathlon, expand our portfolio in running, and establish ourselves in cycling."

Christian Toetzke, currently CEO of Lagardère Sports endurance division, will join IRONMAN's global executive team as Chief Development Officer and Global Head of Cycling.

"With the acquisition, IRONMAN is extending its portfolio in world class running and cycling. I look forward to being a part of this growth in my new role," added Toetzke.

IRONMAN and the ITU have been long-term partners, working together on unified and global standard rules for triathlon, as well as several athlete development initiatives. With this acquisition, IRONMAN adds to their portfolio and will now own and operate the ITU World Triathlon Hamburg, ITU World Triathlon Leeds, ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, ITU World Triathlon Stockholm and ITU World Triathlon Cape Town. With IRONMAN's current ownership of the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast, it now owns and operates six of the nine events in the ITU World Triathlon Series.

"Lagardère Sports has been a long-standing and fantastic partner to the ITU. It is with their commitment to the sport of triathlon that we raised the bar and brought triathlon to the masses over the last eight years. I fully believe the transition of these events to IRONMAN will serve to further strengthen our sport on a global level," said Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC Member. "Congratulations to both Lagardère Sports and IRONMAN. ITU looks forward to continuing to work together to keep triathlon a major player in the world of sports."

Listed below are the races to be added to the IRONMAN portfolio:

· ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi
· ITU World Triathlon Cape Town
· ITU World Triathlon Hamburg
· ITU World Triathlon Leeds
· ITU World Triathlon Stockholm

· Hamburg Cyclassics
· Velothon Berlin
· Velothon Wales
· Velothon Copenhagen
· Velothon Stockholm
· Velothon Stuttgart

· Hamburg Marathon
· Hawkes Bay International Marathon
· Marathon de Bordeaux
· Queenstown Marathon
· Music Run Hamburg
· Music Runs in Germany, UK, France, Sweden & South Africa

Multisport, Festival, Other
· Duathlon Cape Town
· Duathlon Sandton
· The Motatapu
· The Pioneer

All previously announced race information including race date will remain the same.

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. 

The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world's most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 250 events and five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN® 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Lagardère Sports
Lagardère Sports is a leading sport marketing agency, with a global network of local experts dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that meet our clients' needs. We believe sport inspires emotions and passion that are essential to enrich people's lives and generate powerful collective experiences. At Lagardère Sports, we dedicate our expertise and passion to provide our clients with privileged access to the infinite opportunities of sports. Lagardère Sports is part of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, a company with more than 1,600 employees worldwide and 50 years of experience. For more information, visit www.lagardere-se.com.