How does motorcycle racing affect your pension?

The owner of Formula One is looking to diversify its portfolio of ‘vroom vroom sports’ (as we like to call them).

What happened: Liberty Media is in late-stage discussions to buy Dorna Sports — the owner of MotoGP, the world’s top motorcycle road racing league — for a cool €4 billion. 

  • MotoGP might not be a big deal here, but with 251 races a year in 20 countries, it has strong viewership numbers across Europe and, oddly enough, in Indonesia. 

Yes, but: Regulatory challenges could cause the deal to crash like a motorbike on a slick track. In 2006, F1’s old owner, CVC Capital Partners, was actually forced by EU competition regulators to sell its ownership stake in MotoGP before buying the car-racing league. 

Why it matters: If the deal goes through, some of that €4 billion could come your way… kinda. Ya see, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is Dorna’s second-largest shareholder — owning a 39% stake since 2012, a tick behind private equity firm Bridgepoint’s 40% stake.

Big picture: Some leagues and team owners expect more pension funds (and sovereign wealth funds) to get into the sporting biz. Just last year, for example, OMERS spent $400 million for a stake in MLSE, the ownership group of the Maple Leafs and Raptors.—QH