Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin is keen to expand his burgeoning sporting portfolio by buying the Tour de France, according to reports in the media.
The 61-year-old, with his company Wanda Group, has set his sights on acquiring the Grand Tour from the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) and is reportedly already in talks to buy it, says De Telegraaf.
ASO owns the Tour de France and has a stake in the Vuelta a España, which would give Jianlin control over two of the calendar's Grand Tours, as well as Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, among other races.
Jianlin has also reportedly been in talks with RCS Sport, the company that owns the Giro d'Italia, after its parent group, RCS Mediagroup, said its sporting arm could be sold off in an attempt to minimise debt.
The Chinese businessman is no stranger to sporting investments, having purchased the Ironman series as well as a 20 per cent stake in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid. According to Forbes, Jianlin has a fortune of $31bn.
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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