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Liberty Media secured MotoGP rights despite rival tabling more lucrative bid

Gold & Goose

The acquisition of Dorna Sports - rights holder for MotoGP and WorldSBK - by US giant Liberty Media went ahead despite erstwhile owners Bridgepoint revealing a higher offer had been offered up by a rival bidder.

Liberty Media's agreement with Bridgepoint to purchase Dorna Sports went through last week at a price of $4bn, but a bid $200m higher was turned down by UK private equity company Bridgepoint.

The higher bid came from TKO Group, also from the US, whose boss Ari Emanuel, according to the FT, said: ”We know that our bid was was worth $200m more than the Liberty bid."


He added that he couldn’t understand why his larger bid had been rejected by Bridgepoint. Another comment suggested that Bridgepoint was failing its shareholders, but sources also suggest TKO, which also owns the likes of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Ultimate Fighting  Championship (UFC), wouldn't be a good fit with Dorna. 

The question also remains that the deal putting the owners of Formula 1 and MotoGP together may attact regulatory scrutiny from the European Commission.

However, Liberty’s Chief Executive Greg Maffei told the FT he was very confident it would be approved as MotoGP and F1 would be treated separately. 

But rather like the expansion of F1 in the US and Latin America, Liberty will seek to boost MotoGP in those parts of the world.

”We’re going to keep the company independent," Maffiel promised. "We’re certainly not going to be trying to merge the product in the TV market as one.”

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