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Formula 1 wants MotoGP: Liberty Media in negotiations to buy Dorna

The indiscretion comes from Spain that the company is reported to have its eyes on the world championship and that Netflix, Amazon and Disney are also interested in the acquisition

MotoGP: Formula 1 wants MotoGP: Liberty Media in negotiations to buy Dorna

That Dorna is for sale is nothing new. We talked about it last September when, reading the company's financial statements, all the clues pointed in that direction. After all, Bridgepoint had acquired control of Dorna in 2006 and in the world of finance almost twenty years is a very long time not to think about selling, not to mention that the CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta himself has not denied this possibility in recent months.

The problem, if anything, is: who will buy it? The most recent rumours spoke of an unspecified Arab fund ready to take over from Bridgepoint and the Canadian pension fund which currently hold the majority of Dorna through the Luxembourg company Global Racing LX2. Another road led to Liberty Media, the company that holds the rights to Formula 1.

There was already an indication of a certain interest last year with the acquisition by the American QuintEvents company, which deals with the sale of tickets and hospitality (also) in the world championship. In the last few hours, however, the Spanish newspaper Expansión has reported that Liberty Media are in negotiations with Bridgepoint to acquire Dorna. It doesn't end here, because important investment funds such as CVC and KKR and entertainment giants, namely Netflix, Amazon and Disney, could also be involved in the operation. Netflix has already demonstrated with Drive to Survive (the docuseries on F1) that it knows how to talk about (and increase the value of) a sport, while Amazon Prime didn't do as well when it covered MotoGP with the disappointing Unlimited.

Negotiations are therefore underway and the price for MotoGP is reported to be 4 billion dollars. Certainly not a huge amount, but by spending it Liberty Media would own the two top motorsport series. It wouldn't be anything new: Bernie Ecclestone already tried it in 1992 with Two Wheels Promotion, but at the last minute he decided to sell it to Dorna to concentrate on 4 wheels. Will John C. Malone succeed?

Obviously, there is also the question of whether the authorities would agree because we would be faced with a real monopoly in top motor sports, so much so that the abuse of a dominant position could be envisaged. Note that the law does not prohibit dominant positions, but rather abuse.


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