TV network and digital publisher Univision has written a cheque for $135 million for the bankrupt blog network, which was shut down thanks to the ample financing from Paypal’s founder Peter Thiel in a legal case involving the wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Univision gets all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com
Ziff Davis and Univision were the only two bidders for Gawker, which filed for bankruptcy after Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel won a $140 million judgment in a privacy case. Gawker ran a video of Hogan bonking his best mate’s wife, which the wrestler considered breaching his privacy and not in the public interest. Thiel appears to have bankrolled the whole case. The Paypal founder was not that happy that Gawker outed him as gay, although he seems to be happy about that now.
Ziff Davis had originally offered $90 million for Gawker Media.
Gawker Media owner Nick Denton: “Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership — disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.”
“The outcome exceeded our expectations. Both parties put in an awful lot of work, and Ziff Davis deserves credit for their effort,” Patricof said. “But ultimately Univision prevailed, and both sides are happy with the outcome.”
The US bankruptcy court judge needs to sign off on the transaction. When it is final, the judgment funds will be set aside while Gawker appeals its court case; eventually the money will go to the side that wins.
Univision, which until recently was best known as a Spanish-language TV network, has been expanding its digital reach in recent years by acquiring satire site The Onion and The Root. Earlier this year it picked up Fusion, the network and digital publisher aimed at millennials, which it originally launched in conjunction with Disney.