Friday, May 24, 2024

F1 owner Liberty Media announces MotoGP takeover – motor sports News

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Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO, revealed that the acquisition is expected to be completed by year-end 2024 and subject to the receipt of clearances.

The cat is finally out of the bag. Liberty Media, owner of Formula One, has taken over and bought the rights of MotoGP. The American entertainment firm, which has the exclusive rights of Formula 1 since 2016, has acquired Dorna Sports, the owners of MotoGP, at a whopping 4.2 billion Euros. (approx Rs 3.78 lakh crores).

For the initiated, Dorna has held the rights of MotoGP since 1992. The Spanish agency also controls WorldSBK and the MotoE World Cup. According to the deal, Liberty Media will acquire 86% of MotoGP, while MotoGP management will retain approximately 14% of their equity in the business.

F1 takes over MotoGP

The equity consideration to sellers is expected to be approximately 65% cash, 21% shares of Series C Liberty Formula One common stock, and 14% retained MotoGP management equity. Based on an earlier report published in Financial Times, there was a three-way bidding war between Liberty Media, Qatar Sports Investments which owns Paris Saint-Germain football club, and the owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship, William Morris Endeavor. 

Image: F1

This is not the first time an F1 owner has eyed the prized rights of MotoGP. Earlier, Bernie Ecclestone and CVC Capital Partners bid to have total control over the two world championships was routed by European Commission antitrust officials.

Dorna Sports remains exclusive right holders of MotoGP

The agreement states that Dorna Sports will remain an independently run company attributed to Liberty Media’s Formula One Group tracking stock. Dorna will continue to hold exclusive commercial and television rights of MotoGP. Carmelo Ezpeleta, who has been Dorna CEO since 1994, will retain his position and continue to run the business with his management team. The business will remain based in Madrid.

“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.

MotoGP Qatar 2024
MotoGP Qatar 2024

With this acquisition, Liberty Media will look to change the fortunes of MotoGP just like it did with Formula One. According to Financial Times, F1 registered a 64% profit in 2023 propelling the revenue from $2.5 billion to $3.2 billion. This has allowed Formula 1 to reach new venues like Las Vegas, Jeddah, Miami and Doha.

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