(NYT) – Gawker Media, under pressure from a $140 million legal judgment and facing a determined foe in the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is putting itself up for sale.
The company is beginning an auction, and Ziff Davis, a digital media company, has submitted an opening bid of $90 million to $100 million, according to a person briefed on Gawker’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the auction.
Such an offer is known as a stalking-horse bid, meant to set a floor in a court-supervised auction.
Gawker said in a news release that it would “maintain normal operations” during the sales process. Filing for Chapter 11 stays claims from creditors, including court judgments — meaning Gawker would not need to begin paying the $140 million that was awarded in March to the professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose name is Terry G. Bollea, in an invasion-of-privacy case involving the publication of a sex tape. It also allows companies more time and more control as they reorganize themselves. The company still plans to appeal the case.
Gawker took that whole “sex sells” mantra a little too far, and it cost them their business.
Live look at Gawker HQ today: