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Moto GP owner Bridgepoint eyes £3.5bn windfall from motor racing sales


The long-time owner of global motor racing series Moto GP is in advanced talks to sell the business for more than £3bn.

Sky News has learned that Bridgepoint, which is the largest shareholder in Moto GP parent company Dorna Sports, is seeking a valuation of up to €4bn (£3.4bn) in its negotiations with potential buyers .

Formula One owner Liberty Media is said to be the favorite to buy Dorna, although it would face competition from a number of rival bidders.

A source said over the weekend that Bridgepoint was trying to reach a deal to sell Dorna within weeks, but cautioned that the process remained competitive and the timing of a deal was uncertain.

The final price could also deviate from the current target of 4 billion euros, they added.

Under Bridgepoint’s management for 18 years, Moto GP has expanded internationally, with its commercial revenues driving a strong increase in profitability.

The private equity firm owns almost 40% of Dorna, while a slightly smaller stake is held by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

The remaining shares are held by Dorna management.

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This year’s Moto GP World Championship begins in Qatar next weekend, a week later than the F1 season, which hosts its opening race in Bahrain later on Saturday.

Bringing Moto GP and F1 together under common ownership would offer Liberty Media the opportunity to derive financial and commercial synergies.

A motorsport executive said Liberty would seek to replicate the success it enjoyed with F1 in the United States if it were able to take control of Dorna.

A question would arise in any possible competition investigation into a deal.

Bridgepoint bought Moto GP’s parent company in 2006 from CVC Capital Partners after the latter bought F1, attracting the attention of EU watchdogs.

CVC’s stake in F1, the majority of which was in partnership with the sport’s veteran boss Bernie Ecclestone, is among private equity’s most lucrative deals.

It was eventually sold to Liberty Media in 2016, valuing the world’s most glamorous motorsport at $8 billion.

For Bridgepoint, owning Dorna has also been incredibly lucrative.

He reportedly valued the company at around €500 million in 2006, before selling a stake to the Office six years later.

A transaction involving the transfer of Bridgepoint’s stake from one of its funds to another in 2019 would value Dorna at €2.5 billion.

The identity of Liberty Media’s rivals in the Dorna takeover race is unclear.

Spanish newspaper Expansion reported this week that Apple, Disney and Netflix were also interested in a deal, although that interest was not confirmed on Saturday.

Bridgepoint declined to comment, while Liberty Media did not respond to a request for comment.


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