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Old 19th November 2018, 06:40 PM
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Default For Sale: MotoGP €1-Billion ONO

MotoGP could be under new management in the very near future as owner Bridgepoint has hired bankers Lazard to advise on a fast sale.

Bridgepoint bought Dorna, MotoGP’s parent company, more than ten years ago and also acquired WorldSBK when it purchased InFront. Dorna has already paid out hundreds of millions in dividends over the past decade.

In 2012, Bridgepoint sold a 39 per cent stake in the business to CPPIB, the Canadian pension fund investment group. Bridgepoint owns around 40 per cent of the business.

It has been previously reported that CVC is interested in re-acquiring the business, which it sold to Bridgepoint in 2006 for about €500m. The sale was part of a condition to CVC’s acquisition of Formula One.

Any sale of Dorna may value the Madrid-based sports company at well over €1bn including debt. Under Bridgepoint’s ownership, Dorna has completed at least three dividend recapitalisations, whereby new debt is used to return cash to its shareholders.

Likely buyers could be previous owners CVC or other investment companies looking to buy sporting rights.

This would, no doubt, go down well with the present management if, as 20% owners, they were to stay on. The view of CPPIB is unknown but having paid £400m for their 39% stake from Bridgepoint six years ago they will be seeking to end up at least doubling their money.

But a buyer will be looking for growth and after a terrific few years when MotoGP has never been better and the envy of the motor sport world it may be more difficult to repeat that performance.

However, it is also becoming increasingly attractive for a media company to buy content which Liberty has done with F1. So the other giant US media business Discovery, owner of Eurosport, might well be a candidate. They have the broadcasting rights to World SBK and BSB, sniffed around MotoGP before BT renewed their contract and are sports owners in the US.

But after paying £8billion for for F1, Liberty has found that succeeding Bernie Ecclestone was rather tougher than they expected. Their objectives of reducing costs to the teams has not been welcomed by the richest who like things as they are. And some circuits, including Silverstone, are saying we can’t afford your prices any more. While the idea of staging more races has not been welcomed by Lewis Hamilton.

And a major source of revenue, sponsorship, is also under threat. The big media payers, pay TV operators like Sky, RTE and TG4 previously welcomed because of their large budgets, are now limiting the value to sponsors because of a relatively small audiences, and word on the street is that Bridgepoint are more than a little concerned about their golden boy Valentino Rossi announcing his retirement shortly so are anxious to get a deal signed as quickly as possible before ratings plummet as people tune into his own rumoured VR46 reality TV series instead.
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Old 20th November 2018, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: For Sale: MotoGP €1-Billion ONO

Be good to see MotoGP back on Eurosport.

I've never been an avid follower, by any means, but it was certainly a series I did try to keep up with when it was being televised. It's a notable absence from the schedule.

The BSB series and, to a lesser extent, the WSB are still great entertainment.
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Old 20th November 2018, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by pedrosixfour
Be good to see MotoGP back on Eurosport.

I've never been an avid follower, by any means, but it was certainly a series I did try to keep up with when it was being televised. It's a notable absence from the schedule.

The BSB series and, to a lesser extent, the WSB are still great entertainment.
watch them online whenever you want, all races, practice & qualifying, moto 2 & 3 great racing
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