Liberty Media acquires Dorna from Bridgepoint: The Advisors

In a landmark deal in the sports management and media industry, Liberty Media Corporation, the US media conglomerate that owns Formula 1, has reached an agreement with British private equity fund Bridgepoint to buy Dorna, the company that operates the commercial and audiovisual rights to MotoGP, for 4.2 billion euros.

Dorna Sports, an international sports management, media, and marketing company renowned for organizing prestigious motorcycle-racing series such as the MotoGP World Championship and the Superbike World Championship, will now become a part of Liberty Media’s portfolio.

Liberty Media will acquire 86% of MotoGP and MotoGP management will retain approximately 14% of its equity in the business. Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna’s CEO since 1994, will remain at the helm of the Madrid-based business. Dorna is the current owner of the exclusive global rights to organise the MotoGP World Championship until 2041 and also the Superbike World Championship until 2036.

The British private equity fund bought Dorna in 2006 from CVC for 550 million euros. Bridgepoint controls Dorna through a vehicle in which it owns 51% of the capital and in which the Canadian pension fund CPPIB holds the remaining 49%.

The Advisors

Uría Menéndez has advised the sellers with a team, led by Manuel Echenique (pictured left), Partner and Co-Head of M&A-Private Equity in Madrid, included Guillermo del Río, Senior Associate in M&A-Private Equity, and Casilda Campuzano and Paula Lissorgues, both Associates in M&A-Private Equity, all based in Madrid.

Pérez-Llorca has also advised the buyers, Liberty Media, with a team composed by Corporate Partner Pablo González Mosqueira (pictured centre), Andy Ramos, Partner specializing in Intellectual Property, Industrial, and Technology matters; Norma Peña, Tax Partner; Lucía Rodríguez and Borja Gil-Casares, Corporate Lawyers; and Alicia Maddio and Leticia Baley, Lawyers specializing in Intellectual Property, Industrial, and Technology matters.

KPMG Abogados has advised Liberty Media Corporation from the tax area with a team led by partner Carlos Marín (pictured right) and Ignacio González del Castillo (Director), with the participation of Laura Vilas (Senior Manager), Alberto Fernández (Senior Manager), Álvaro López (senior) and Paula Campos (staff).

Also Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to Liberty Media and undertook to provide debt financing for the transaction, while O’Melveny & Myers acted as legal advisor too. Moelis & Company acted as financial advisor to Dorna and Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor.