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F1 Owner Liberty Media Acquired MotoGP in a $4.5 Billion Deal

F1 Owner Liberty Media Acquired MotoGP in a $4.5 Billion Deal

A huge development that has taken place in the motorcycling world was unveiled on April 1, 2024, when MotoGP stated the deal. It is confirmed that Formula One, which Liberty Media owns has acquired the parent company, Dorna Sports, which owns the rights to MotoGP and World Superbike Championship (WSBK).

1. The Acquisition Deal

Liberty Media has now become the major stakeholder of Dorna Sports by owning 86% of the company's shares. The company is expected to pay a grand sum of 4.5 billion US dollars (€4.2 billion), putting the equity valued at 3.8 billion US dollars (€3.5 billion). Only 14% of shares have been retained by the MotoGP.

As per the deal, 65% of the amount will be paid in cash and the remaining 21% in shares of Series C Liberty Media Formula One stock. Not to forget, MotoGP has an existing debt of around 1 billion US dollars that will remain there. The finalized deal and the takeover can take almost 9 months. Once the deal is completed, Liberty Media will have 86% rights and stakes in MotoGP, WSBK, and other sports series, organized by Dorna Sports.

2. Liberty Media - The New Owner

If you are unsure about who Liberty Media is, it is a US-based mass media organization with a huge stake in sports related to auto racing. It was founded by John C. Malone, the chairman, in 1991. Formula One is the biggest venture by Liberty Media in the field of racing sports, along with the other multiple lines of businesses. The company holds noticeable shares in the Atlanta baseball team, Live Nation, and SiriusXM. After Formula One, the acquisition of Dorna Sports is considered to be one of the biggest takeovers by Liberty Media.

3. News for the MotoGP Fans

The good news for MotoGP fans is that Liberty Media is not going to make any drastic changes to the brand that can impact the loyalty and commitment of the die-hard MotoGP fans toward the sport. The acquisition by Liberty Media is not made in hassle and is not only seen as a business gain, the company has spent a lot of time and has done the complete homework regarding how to retain the existing followership and bring improvements to promote the motorcycle racing championship events.

The attached slide by Liberty Media tells how optimistic and concerned the company is about the fanbase and retaining them to continue contributing to the MotoGP.

News for the MotoGP Fans
Photo Credit:

Greg Maffei, the CEO and President of Liberty Media has an optimistic message for all the MotoGP fans. On the event of taking over Dorna Sports and MotoGP, he expressed his views in the following words:

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

Liberty Media also shared the objectives and ways it plans to take the MotoGP to new heights.

Photo Credit:

4. The Current Management Will Continue

Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of Dorna Sports, Enrique Aldama, the Chief Finance and Operating Officer, Dan Rossomondo, the Chief Commercial Officer, and Carlos Ezpeleta, the Chief Sporting Officer will continue to lead and manage Dorna, despite having only 14% of the stake in Dorna Sports. Liberty Media has also decided not to move the headquarters of Dorna Sports in Madrid, Italy.

Ezpeleta sees this transaction as an opportunity and is determined to grow further.

“This is the perfect next step in the evolution of MotoGP, and we are excited about 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 Media 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,”

- Ezpeleta.

5. In the End

Besides promoting MotoGP, Liberty Media hasn’t said much about the World Sportsbike Championship (WSBK) and other racing leagues, including the Moto2, Moto3, MotoE, and the Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship. A comprehensive plan and way forward by Liberty Media are yet to be presented for the fans of WSBK and other racing events that came under Dorna Sports. However, we can predict that Liberty Media will not disappoint their fans either.

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