Big-league private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is leading a race to take over MotoGP rights holder Dorna, reports BDN financial editor Roger Willis.
CVC, which formerly owned Formula One and had a major shareholding in Dorna until 2006, is the favoured contender in a battle that could see control of MotoGP change hands for around £1bn. However, it has some powerful opposition from other aspirant buyers in the private equity world, such as Eurozeo and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert.
Dorna currently belongs to private equity investor Bridgepoint, which has a majority stake acquired from CVC, and Canadian pension fund CPPIB with a 39% slice. Finance industry insiders say Dorna’s management prefer the CVC bid because of the company’s previous knowledge and experience of the sport — and its past close relationship with CPPIB.
Whether part or all of both the Bridgepoint and CPPIB stakes are up for grabs remains unclear. And any outcome will depend heavily on price.