Gawker Media recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a result of being ordered to pay roughly $140 million to Hulk Hogan. The media company has put its assets up for sale and looks to be wooing Ziff Davis, the digital publisher of AskMen, PCMag and Computer Shopper as a potential buyer.
Gawker Files for Bankruptcy
Hulk Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, sued Gawker for damages and violating his privacy for $100 million after the site posted a video in 2012 of him having sex with his former best friend’s wife. A Florida jury awarded Hogan $55 million for economic injuries and another $65 million for emotional distress. Additionally, Gawker has been ordered to pay $25 million in punitive damages.
As a result, the media company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Ziff Davis, who is already familiar with the world Gawker operates in, placed a$100 million bid for the company’s assets prior to the bankruptcy auction that will be supervised by a bankruptcy court most likely in late July.
Ziff Davis has plans to buy Gawker’s blogs, which include Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Deadspin — but not assume the company’s liabilities — if no other offer emerges during the auction. A bankruptcy court will first need to approve the sale’s price and terms.
Gawker’s properties are expected to continue operations during the bankruptcy proceedings.
Gawker listed estimated assets of $50 million to $100 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million.
Hogan is Largest Creditor
Hogan was listed as the company’s largest creditor in its bankruptcy filing among other creditors including the following: law firm Morrison Cohen; insurance brokerage Risk Strategies; content-distribution firm SimpleReach; and Google.
Hogan Backed by Billionaire Peter Thiel
The case took an interesting turn when it was revealed that Hogan was backed by billionaire and co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel. Thiel recently admitted to backing Hogan’s lawsuit with $10 million because, as he told The New York Times, the site was “getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.”
Following Gawker’s bankruptcy announcement, Hogan tweeted: “What a beautiful day, and the good doesn’t prevent the better! In the present I AM always grateful, only good happens to me.”