F1's Liberty media buys MotoGP

Christopher Chaves Updated: April 02, 2024, 11:06 AM IST

The parent company of Formula 1, Liberty Media, has finalised an agreement to acquire MotoGP, by acquiring its promoter, Dorna Sports. There was some speculation about Liberty's interest in MotoGP for some time but the deal was made official on April 1. Liberty Media had previously taken control of Formula One Group in 2016 by acquiring a majority stake from CVC Capital Partners. With this latest acquisition, Dorna Sports will now become part of Liberty's 'Formula One Group tracking stock,' with the existing management team led by Carlos Ezpeleta remaining in place.

Prior to Liberty's acquisition, Dorna Sports was owned by Bridgepoint Group (39 percent), CPPIB (31 percent), and other stakeholders, including the Ezpeleta family. The purchase by Liberty Media, valued at €4.2 billion in enterprise terms and €3.5 billion in equity, represents approximately 86 percent of the company.

Carlos Ezpeleta, the long-time leader of Dorna Sports, welcomed the partnership with Liberty Media, citing their successful track record in sports development and their ability to enhance MotoGP's global presence. The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of 2024, pending regulatory approvals from competition authorities in various jurisdictions.

The announcement also included a disclaimer about forward-looking statements in the press release, highlighting potential risks and uncertainties that could impact the completion of the transaction. Despite the acquisition, Dorna Sports, which also manages the World Superbike championship, will continue to operate independently under the ownership of Liberty Media.

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