The Toronto-based Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) announced that it has signed an agreement to invest in Dorna Sports S.L. (Dorna) following the sports management company’s recent acquisition of the FIM World Superbike Championship. CPPIB will acquire a 39 percent stake in the enlarged group alongside current shareholders, Bridgepoint and Dorna management.
Dorna holds the global rights until 2036 to organize the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix, known as MotoGP, the world's most prestigious motorcycle racing series. Dorna recently expanded its group following the acquisition of the FIM World Superbikes (SBK) Championship which, together, represent the two preeminent motorcycle racing series in the world.
"This is a unique opportunity to invest in a leading international sports management business," said André Bourbonnais, senior vice-president, Private Investments, CPPIB. "Dorna's experienced management team has demonstrated a remarkable ability to deliver consistent and strong performance."
Founded in 1988, Dorna is an international sports management, media and marketing company that holds the global commercial and broadcasting rights for MotoGP. Dorna delivers the MotoGP product and brand to a broad audience globally, by leveraging the series' rich heritage and wide popularity.
"We look forward to working together with Dorna's CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, his management team and Bridgepoint to continue Dorna's global growth and to pursue exciting opportunities to expand into emerging markets," Bourbonnais added.
Bridgepoint managing partner William Jackson said: "This is very good news for Dorna. I'm delighted that CPPIB is to become a fellow shareholder to support the business at a time when the sport is moving to an exciting new stage in its development and both series continue their expansion."
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta added: "I welcome CPPIB as a new shareholder. Alongside Bridgepoint, we now have long-term institutional support in place as we bring together for the first time the two top motorcycle racing series under one roof and as we develop and strengthen both championships."
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of calendar 2012 and is subject to customary conditions.