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Formula 1’s owner Liberty Media acquires MotoGP’s parent company Dorna

In a significant move within the motorsports world, Liberty Media, the owner of Formula 1, have announced its acquisition of Dorna Sports, the parent company of MotoGP.

This acquisition marks a strategic expansion for Liberty Media beyond Formula 1 into the world of premier motorcycle racing.

Liberty Media’s purchase of Formula 1 from CVC Capital Partners in 2017 signaled a shift in the management of the sport, with Bernie Ecclestone being replaced as chief executive of the Formula One Group. Now, Liberty Media is extending its reach by taking over MotoGP, a move that is expected to reshape the landscape of motorsports.

The acquisition is anticipated to be finalized by the end of 2024, pending approvals from regulatory authorities. Liberty Media will acquire approximately 86% of Dorna, with Dorna management retaining the remaining 14% equity.

The transaction reflects an enterprise value of 4.2 billion euros (£3.6bn) for Dorna/MotoGP and an equity value of 3.5 billion euros (£3bn).

Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, “MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing, and a highly cash flow generative financial profile.” Maffei emphasized the potential for growth in the sport and the intention to expand MotoGP’s reach to a wider global audience.

Under the agreement, Dorna will remain an independently run company under Liberty Media’s Formula One Group tracking stock. Dorna will continue to operate from its headquarters in Madrid, with Carmelo Ezpeleta, the long-serving CEO of Dorna, retaining his position.

Carmelo Ezpeleta commented on the acquisition, stating, “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 positions MotoGP for further development and growth under the stewardship of Liberty Media.

Dorna Sports, in addition to promoting MotoGP, also oversees the World Superbike Championship and the all-electric MotoE series. The acquisition by Liberty Media is expected to create opportunities for financial and commercial synergies between MotoGP and Formula 1, paving the way for a new era in motorsports.

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