MotoGP’s private equity owners Bridgepoint has hired advisors Lazard on a potential sale, according to reports.

Bridgepoint has called on bankers Lazard for a review of Dorna – the Spanish holding company which runs MotoGP and World Superbikes – with a view to sell in 2019.

A report by the Financial Times has named former owners CVC as a leading party interested in the sale having sold the business to Bridgepoint in 2006 for around €500 million as part of its arrangements when acquiring Formula 1.

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Last year CVC finalised its F1 sale to US-based media giants Liberty Media for an estimated value of $8 billion with an equity value of $4.4 billion.

In 2012, Bridgepoint sold a 39% stake in Dorna to Canadian pension fund investment group CPPIB, with Bridgepoint owning around 40% of the business, while under Bridgepoint control Dorna has reportedly undergone three dividend recapitalisations with new debt being used to give cash to shareholders.

Dorna became MotoGP controllers in 1999 when it secured the rights and has overseen a strong growth in the championship with huge sponsorship, television and advertising deals.

At last weekend’s Valencia MotoGP, Dorna announced a partnership extension until 2021 with tobacco company Philip Morris International, a collaboration which has run for almost three decades, and launches a ‘smoke-free world’ campaign next year.

A key broadcasting deal was also announced at the 2018 MotoGP finale in Valencia with live streaming service DAZN picking up the Spanish rights from long-time partners Movistar.

Rival US media group Discovery are also thought to be keeping an eye on developments. The group owns Eurosport of have TV rights in World Superbikes and British Superbikes.

 

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