Francesco Bagnaia en route to victory in the Qatar Grand Prix this year. (MotoGP Photo)

Liberty Media Acquires MotoGP

Liberty Media Corp., which owns the rights to Formula 1, has reached an agreement to acquire MotoGP.

The world’s best known motorcycle racing series began in 1949 and boasts 20 events on five continents.

As part of the transaction, Dorna Sports, long the exclusive commercial and television rights holder of MotoGP, will remain in operation, managing MotoGP under the Liberty Media banner with Carmelo Ezpeleta remaining as CEO.

Liberty Media is set to acquire approximately 86 percent of MotoGP with Dorna’s management retaining their equity in the organization. The deal is reported to be worth $4.2 billion.

“We are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO. “MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing and a highly cash flow generative financial profile. Carmelo and his management team have built a great sporting spectacle that we can expand to a wider global audience. The business has significant upside, and we intend to grow the sport for MotoGP fans, teams, commercial partners and our shareholders.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“This is the perfect next step in the evolution of MotoGP, and we are excited for what this milestone brings to Dorna, the MotoGP paddock and racing fans,” said Ezpeleta. “We are proud of the global sport we’ve grown, and this transaction is a testament to the value of the sport today and its growth potential. Liberty Media has an incredible track record in developing sports assets and we could not wish for a better partner to expand MotoGP’s fanbase around the world.”