Liberty Media is closing on an agreement to purchase Dorna Sports in a deal that would see MotoGP and the WorldSBK Championship join Formula 1 in the media giant’s portfolio, according to reports.

Liberty – the world’s most prestigious sporting conglomerate at a value of more than $18bn – has been locked in a bidding war in recent weeks with a handful of other parties to secure the sale but is understood to have agreed a deal worth $4bn.

Dorna Sports has held the commercial rights to the Grand Prix World Championship – which comprises MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE – since 1991, as well as WorldSBK, plus a handful of European and domestic based championships.


While the company hasn’t been officially placed on the market, it is known that current majority shareholders Bridgepoint have been open to negotiation over a sale. The private equity firm owns 39% of Dorna with 38% owned by a Canadian public fund. Dorna – run by Carmelo Ezpeleta – has 20% share.

According to the Financial Times, numerous interested parties have approached regarding a potential deal – including Hollywood-based entertainment company TKO and Paris St. Germain football club owners Qatari Sports Investments – but says that Liberty Media has emerged as the most desirable candidate.

However, even if the deal does go through, it is likely to face scrutiny from the EU competition regulators on account of Liberty Media’s existing asset, F1.

Liberty secured the commercial rights to F1 back in 2017 for $8bn and has been credited with initiating the sport’s sustained growth by adapting to modern media streams and focusing on key valuable markets, such as the United States and the Middle East.

Indeed, developments such as the hugely-popular Netflix doc-series ‘Drive to Survive’ and new events in Las Vegas, Miami and Saudi Arabia, have helped fuel a 64% rise in operating profit from $2.5bn to $3.2bn.

As such, the EU may conclude Liberty would exercise too much of a monopoly in the sector by adding MotoGP to its roster.