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Formula 1 owner Liberty Media announces US$3.75 billion takeover of MotoGP

Formula 1 owner Liberty Media announces US$3.75 billion takeover of MotoGP
April 2, 2024

Formula One’s US-based owner Liberty Media Corporation has announced an agreement to acquire MotoGP’s parent company Dorna Sports S.L..

In a transaction reflecting an enterprise value of €4.2 billion/US$4.5 billion for Dorna/MotoGP and an equity value of €3.5 billion/US$3.75 billion, Liberty Media’s acquisition of the world’s leading motorcycle racing championship expands its portfolio of global sporting assets.

This new agreement will see Dorna Sports, the exclusive commercial and television rights holder of MotoGP™, remain an independently run company attributed to Liberty Media’s Formula One Group tracking stock.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, who has been Dorna Sports Chief Executive since 1994, will remain in his position and continue to run the business with his management team from its base in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

In a statement welcoming the acquisition, Ezpeleta noted “this is the perfect next step in the evolution of MotoGP, and we are excited for what this milestone brings to Dorna, the MotoGP paddock and racing fans.”

The deal will involve Liberty Media acquiring approximately 86% of Dorna Sports, with Dorna Sport management retaining around 14% of its equity.

It is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Dorna Sports, which was roughly 40% owned by the British private investment company Bridgepoint Group, also promotes the World Superbike Championship and all-electric FIM Enel MotoE™ World Championship. It also holds exclusive rights to other motorcycle racing series, including MotoGP™ feeder series Moto2™ and Moto3™, and the new FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship.

Liberty Media President and Chief Executive, Greg Maffei commented “we are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP.

“MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing and a highly cash flow generative financial profile. Carmelo and his management team have built a great sporting spectacle that we can expand to a wider global audience. The business has significant upside, and we intend to grow the sport for MotoGP fans, teams, commercial partners and our shareholders.”

The takeover could attract regulatory scrutiny. CVC Capital Partners, which sold Formula One to Liberty in 2017, was cleared by the European Commission to buy F1 in 2006 on condition that it sold Dorna Sports.

Image credit: MotoGP.

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