Liberty Media announces acquisition of MotoGP

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Formula 1's commercial rights holder Liberty Media has announced that it has purchased motorbike racing series MotoGP from its Spanish owners Dorna Sports in a deal valued at £3.6bn.

Having taken control of Formula One in 2017, Liberty Media has now announced that it has purchased the motorbike series from Spanish company Dorna Sports, which has owned MotoGP since 1992.

The deal will see Liberty acquire about 86% of Dorna, with Dorna's management retaining the rest of the business. The acquisition is expected to be completed by year-end 2024 and is subject to the receipt of clearances and approvals by competition and foreign investment law authorities in various jurisdictions.

The transaction reflects an enterprise value for Dorna/MotoGP of €4.2 billion and an equity value of €3.5 billion, with MotoGP's existing debt balance expected to remain in place after close.

This new agreement will see Dorna Sports S.L., 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 CEO since 1994, will remain in his position and continue to run the business with his management team with the business set to remain based in Madrid.

Dorna also holds exclusive rights to other motorcycle racing series, including MotoGP feeder series Moto2 and Moto3, the FIM Enel MotoE World Championship, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and the new FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship.

Speaking of the announcement, Liberty Media President Greg Maffei said: "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."

Expanding on the deal, CEO of Dorna Carmelo Ezpeleta added: "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.

We are proud of the global sport we’ve grown, and this transaction is a testament to the value of the sport today and its growth potential. Liberty has an incredible track record in developing sports assets and we could not wish for a better partner to expand MotoGP’s fanbase around the world."