F1 owner Liberty Media acquires MotoGP commercial rights

Liberty Media has reached an agreement to take over the commercial rights to the MotoGP series, adding it to its ownership of Formula 1 within its racing portfolio.

The global motorcycle racing series is promoted by Dorna Sports, S.L. (Dorna), with Liberty acquiring the commercial rights holder from Bridgepoint and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The deal represents enterprise value of $4.5billion (€4.2bn), as Liberty will acquire 86 percent of MotoGP, with MotoGP management retaining approximately 14 percent. The deal will see MotoGP added to Liberty’s Formula One Group tracking stock.

Existing Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta will continue to run the business from its Madrid headquarters, with Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei saying he sees “significant upside” to the deal.


“We are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP,” Maffei said. “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.”

Ezpeleta hints at Liberty’s work in increasing interest and value in F1 as one of the exciting factors behind the deal.

“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,” Ezpeleta said. “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.”

Liberty says it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of 2024, although acknowledges it is “subject to the receipt of clearances and approvals by competition and foreign investment law authorities in various jurisdictions”. Former F1 owner CVC Capital Partners had to relinquish its interest in Dorna back in 2006 to complete its F1 deal at the time, as the European Commission had anti-competition concerns.

Story originally appeared on Racer