Gawker Media, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the beginning of the summer, has been bough by Univision for an estimated $135 million.
$140 Million to Hulk Hogan
In June, Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a result of being ordered to pay roughly $140 million to Hulk Hogan.
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.
Gawker has continued operations during the bankruptcy proceedings. And according to Quantcast, traffic to Gawker Media sites has increased since the bankruptcy filing. In April, the sites had about 92 million global monthly unique visitors, and in July the sites had about 104 million monthly global unique visitors.
While it was assumed that the company would be bought by Ziff Davis, the digital publisher of AskMen, PCMag and Computer Shopper, it appears that Univision’s offer of $135 million beat out Ziff Davis’ initial $100 million. Univision will now aquire all of Gawker Media’s brands, including Jezebel, Gizmodo, and Deadspin.
The Univision sale was approved mid-August and shortly after, Nick Denton, on of the founers sent a memo to staff addressing the decision.
“Sadly, neither I nor Gawker.com, the buccaneering flagship of the group I built with my colleagues, are coming along for this next stage,” Denton said. “Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com.”
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.”