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Liberty Media puts 4 billion euros on the table to buy MotoGP

The deal is reported to be one step closer to being finalized, and the American company would put F1 and MotoGP under the same roof. With some problems with antitrust

MotoGP: Liberty Media puts 4 billion euros on the table to buy MotoGP

The fact that Dorna is for sale is nothing new. Already last September, analyzing its financial statements, we had explained how the financial data were giving precise indications. Then it was CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta who confirmed the willingness to put the company on the market. In recent months, rumors about an interest from Liberty Media, the owner of Formula 1, had become more and more insistent, and now the time seems to have come to close the deal.

This is being claimed by the Financial Times, which also crunches the numbers. The U.S. company is reported to have put up the figure of 4 billion euros to bring the deal to a successful conclusion and put its top motorsport series, F1 and MotoGP, under one roof.

Bridgepoint and the Canadian Pension Fund would then be ready to cede Dorna to Liberty Media, which had to overcome competition from Qatar Sports Investments, the fund that owns the Paris Saint-Germain team.

Libery Media wants to become the undisputed king of motorsports, and if the deal goes through, it will succeed by taking not only MotoGP but also SBK under its wing. However, some observers may turn their noses up at its dominance in the market. Something similar already happened in 2006, when CVC Capital Partners was forced to divest MotoGP before it could buy F1. According to reports in the Financial Times, a similar deal by Liberty Media might lead to antitrust actions in Britain, Germany and even at a European level. The path taken by Liberty Media, however, seems clear and it has probably already studied countermeasures to this problem, which could be no small matter.

The plan is to use the "F1 method" for MotoGP as well, raising the popularity (and earnings) of motorcycle racing. Suffice to say that F1's operating profit in 2023 rose 63 percent to $329 million, while revenues rose to $3.2 billion from $2.5 billion the previous year. Dorna's did not even reach 500 million (483 in 2023).

The same stars-and-stripes flag is thus preparing to fly over MotoGP, and with the Austin Grand Prix scheduled in a few weeks' time, the moment of the  announcement could be very close.


Translated by Julian Thomas

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