MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports has a new investor in the shape of capital company Bridgepoint, after previous stakeholder CVC Capital Partners offloaded the company as part of its acquisition of F1 rights from Bernie Ecclestone.
After a six-way bidding 'war' to acquire the rights to the successful two-wheeled race package, Bridgepoint emerged as the candidate to replace CVC as a shareholder in Dorna, which retains exclusive rights to promote and manage MotoGP. As usual, the value of the transaction has not been made public, although pre-sale reports suggested that the stake was being offered at an estimated Â£345million price tag.
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta welcomed the new investor.
"I am delighted to have Bridgepoint as a partner for the next phase in the development of Dorna, and I am sure that they will make a significant contribution to the growth of the business," he said.
Once it became clear that CVC was the new owner of the F1 rights, the European Commission ruled that it had to sell its involvement in Dorna, having decided that having the two premier motorsport categories under the same ownership could lead to monopoly problems. Having got its hands on F1, however, CVC did not appear too reluctant to part company with MotoGP, having seen its investment go from strength to strength since its Â£45million acquisition in 1998.
Bridgepoint is understood to have fought off competition from Permira, PAI, Advent, Apax Partners and Lion Capital in the race to acquire Dorna.
"Bridgepoint has followed Dorna for some years and is pleased to take over as its principal shareholder at an exciting time in the development of the motorcycle world championships," managing partner William Jackson said, "Dorna has an outstanding management team which has the passion, commitment and ability to continue the successful development of a unique sports business with an unrivalled heritage."
The FIM has been informed about the change of ownership.