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LIBERTY FREES UP MOTOGP FOR AMERICA

  • Dealernews
  • Apr 03, 2024

 

Although the official press release dropped on April 1, it was no joke that U.S.-based Liberty Media was buying MotoGP rights from Dorna, with one of the stated goals to expand top tier motorcycle racing to a global audience and a much higher profile in America. According to the official statement: Liberty Media Corporation (“Liberty Media”) (Nasdaq: FWONA, FWONK) announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Dorna Sports, S.L. (“Dorna”), the exclusive commercial rights holder to the MotoGP World Championship, from Bridgepoint and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPP Investments”). MotoGP will be attributed to Liberty Media’s Formula One Group tracking stock."

“We are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO. “MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing and a highly cash flow generative financial profile. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna since 1994, 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.”

“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,” added Ezpeleta, who will continue to run the business headquartered in Madrid. “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 fan base around the world.”

Liberty Media will acquire 86% of MotoGP with MotoGP management retaining approximately 14% of their equity in the business. The transaction reflects an enterprise value for MotoGP of €4.2 billion and an equity value of €3.5 billion with the existing debt balance at MotoGP expected to remain in place after closing. The equity consideration to sellers is expected to be approximately 65% cash, 21% in shares of Series C Liberty Formula One common stock (Nasdaq: FWONK) and 14% of retained MotoGP management equity. 

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.

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