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Liberty Media frontrunner to buy Dorna for MotoGP rights

motogp f1 liberty media dorna

Bridgepoint Group is in advanced talks to sell Dorna Sports, which holds the commercial rights to MotoGP, in a bid to raise $4.43 billion with Formula 1 owners Liberty Media among several bidders, according to Sky News.

MotoGP is the top tier of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, the two-wheel equivalent of F1 with a massive legacy and impressive history.

Liberty Media which also owns Formula 1, is said to be the frontrunner to buy Dorna, although it is reportedly facing competition from a number of rival bidders. The American corporation also has publicly listed tracking groups for its interest in F1 and event ticketing firm LiveNation.

British private investment companies Bridgepoint, Dorna Sports and Liberty Media did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

London-listed Bridgepoint, which owns close to 40% of Dorna, is trying to close the deal within few weeks, Sky News said citing a single source.

Various reports suggest Amazon, Netflix and Disney are keen on Dorna and the MotoGP rights. Notably, NBC has broadcasted the global motorcycling series since 2020, but these discussions would see the property move this season.

BlackBook Motorsport report: “Dorna chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta confirmed rumours of a potential sale in January and discussions appear to have advanced quickly.

“Falling under Liberty Media ownership would bring huge commercial benefits to MotoGP, with the company having boosted Formula One’s global standing. The series’ 2023 revenue soared 25 per cent to US$3.2 billion, not far off MotoGP’s overall valuation.

“However, it would be difficult to compare this acquisition with Liberty Media’s purchase of Formula One. MotoGP has already made considerable strides in the US, so any credit for that must go to the existing management rather than being passed on to Liberty Media if this purchase is successful,” the report adds. (Reporting by Shubhendu Deshmukh; Additional Reporting by GRANDPRIX247)