UPDATE 2-Canadian pension fund bets big on world of motor sports

Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:38pm EDT
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* CPPIB buys 39 pct stake in Dorna from Bridgepoint

* Fund also finances large part of loan to Formula One Group

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the country's top pension fund managers, on Friday outlined two major investments in the world of professional motor racing.

CPPIB, known for staid investments in infrastructure projects, shopping centres, private equity firms and the like, said it had stuck a deal to buy a big stake in motorcycle grand prix organiser Dorna and was also financing a large chunk of a loan to Formula One Group.

The pension fund manager said it had signed an agreement to acquire a 39 percent stake in Dorna - organiser of MotoGP events and the FIM World Superbikes Championship - from private equity firm Bridgepoint.

CPPIB did not disclose the purchase price, but a source familiar with the deal said it was about 400 million euros ($518 million).

The stake sale is another example of how large pension funds are buying into businesses alongside private equity houses as they look for better returns from growing companies with good long-term prospects.

The $100 billion Texas Teachers' pension fund last week agreed to buy a 3 percent stake in the Formula One motor racing business, investing alongside private equity house CVC.

Madrid-based Dorna organises 18 races in 13 countries and generates revenues from television broadcast contracts, sponsorship and advertising as well as corporate hospitality and related services.   Continued...